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Mayor Ginther Announces Expansion Of Affordable Housing Efforts

Andrew Ginther

In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Andrew Ginther touted Columbus’ work to improve neighborhoods—particularly Linden. Looking forward, the mayor emphasized plans for housing, health, climate change and education.

Late last year, Mayor Ginther’s administration introduced its One Linden plan to revitalize the Cleveland Avenue corridor. The city also began planning a new community center in the neighborhood and took steps to improve housing stock.

On Thursday night at East High School, Ginther announced a new investment in affordable housing to bring that emphasis to four other neighborhoods.

“Our funding will leverage more than $7.2 million in private investment, for the construction of at least 30 homes that will be built and sold this year,” Ginther said.

The plan would commit nearly $4 million in city funding to Franklinton, the South Side, the Near East Side and Weinland Park.

Ginther announced a new app for expectant mothers. The city has been attempting to stem high rates of infant mortality through its CelebrateOne initiative. The Prenatal Trip Planning app will help pregnant women contact their physician and get to appointments.

“In addition," Ginther explains, "the app will help them arrange rides to and from grocery stores and pharmacies so they can make sure they’re getting the food and prescriptions they need for a healthy pregnancy.”

The idea is a product of the city's Smart Columbus program.

The mayor argued everyone in Columbus should have access to high speed internet.

“So this year we will work public and private partners to make an unprecedented and historic commitment to expand high speed internet to all of our neighborhoods,” Ginther said.

And he argued climate change is already weighing heavily on low income residents—particularly when the weather is at its worst. Ginther says the city is doing its part to move away from fossil fuels.

“We’re laying the foundation to transform the way we power municipal operations through renewable energy," Ginther said. "Our division of power has committed to purchase at least 50 percent renewable energy to power city facilities by 2020.”

Finally, Ginther announced a new early learning facility in the Hilltop next to Highland Elementary school.

“This new facility will provide a high quality early learning education to more than 200 hilltop children and crucial programs and services for their families,” he said.

The effort comes from a partnership between Columbus City Schools, the Boys and Girls Club, developer Doug Borror, and former NBA player and investor Michael Redd.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.