Columbus business and community leaders launch new affordable housing effort
A new non-profit group in Columbus is putting its own spin on a public-private partnership for creating more affordable housing.
Columbus Housing Enterprise (CHE) was recently formed by local business and community leaders Don Kelley and Robert Weiler and their families.
Working with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), CHE has acquired Copperleaf apartments in Dublin from Kelley and Weiler for $8 million, half of the market price.
"The units are in great shape,” said Rev. John Edgar. “The tenants are glad to be there. We want to see them stay. We just simply want to ensure that these units remain affordable, not only now, but for decades to come.” “Since we have such a lower debt on this property, we can keep the rents in check for years to come." He says rents will be no more than $1,000 a month for those who qualify.
Edgar, who retired last year after 20 years as executive director of Community Development of All People on South Parsons Avenue, said affordable housing remains a great need in the Columbus community.
He said CHE will not seek federal subsidies for housing, but the partnership with CMHA will be very beneficial for tenants.
"One, it gives our tenants access to something called the Rise Center, which provides additional support services and helps tenants achieve their aspirational goals. Number two, it means we can draw upon the expertise of Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority when it comes to their ability to do asset management, and make certain that these properties stay in good shape for decades to come."
Edgar said CHE will work to expand this year.
“By the end of 2023, we believe we're going to own three different apartment complexes with a total of over 600 units,” said Edgar.