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Weinland Park Community Civic Association

Housing Committee
Summary of Meeting of November 11, 2014
Brandyn McElroy, president of the civic association, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. at
Godman Guild Association.
Mr. McElroy announced that Matt Martin has agreed to serve as the new chair of the Housing
Committee. Mr. McElroy also announced that the Housing Committee will move to a new date
and will meet on the second Monday of each month, beginning in December. The meetings will
begin at 6 p.m.
Mr. McElroy introduced Erin Prosser and Amanda Hoffsis of Campus Partners to discuss the 7.4
acres that comprise the south of Gateway project. Ms. Prosser explained that City Council
approved rezoning of the properties last month and now Campus Partners now is beginning to
move forward with the project.
In explaining the project further, Ms. Hoffsis introduced a representative of Community Housing
Network (CHN), which owns and operates supportive housing in a building at 1494 N. High
Street. Ms. Hoffsis said Campus Partners will build a new facility for CHN to replace its building
on High Street. She said the project also will include dedicated space for OSU Extension in the
University District.
Campus Partners is seeking a local developer with sufficient experience to deal with a project of
this size and commitments to engage with the community and to support the zoning in place. Ms.
Hoffsis said Campus Partners is partnering with Edwards Communities to develop a proposal,
but no contract has been signed yet. Ms. Prosser said she will convene a meeting for
neighborhood folks to meet with Edwards Communities representatives in the next few weeks.
Ms. Hoffsis also introduced Alex Wright as a relatively new member of the Campus Partners
Kathy Werkmeister of Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) explained that her
organization has operated the Weinland Park Exterior Home Repair Program from its inception.
The program has served more than 55 households and has a few more yet to serve. She said
many folks who participated in the home repair program are eligible for a property tax abatement
from the City of Columbus. MORPC is processing the applications for those eligible. She
introduced Tracey Davis who is the citys program manager for the residential tax abatement
program. Ms. Davis said the city has 13 Neighborhood Investment Districts (NIDs), including
Weinland Park. Beneficiaries are existing homeowners, new homeowners and condominium

owners, and rental property owners. The abatement runs for 15 years. To qualify, the owner must
build a new home on a vacant lot or invest at least 20 percent of the value of the property in the
renovation of an existing home.
Ms. Davis maintains a database of properties in the program and keeps track of the programs as
they move through the process. Ms. Werkmeister said she is willing to take calls from
homeowners to find out where their individual properties are in the process. Ms Davis said that if
a homeowner has a question about the valuation of his or her property, the homeowner should
contact the Franklin County Auditors Office.
Ms. Davis said she must review every property for which the city has granted property tax
abatement. If a house that received an abatement is boarded up, the property owner should
contact Ms. Davis about the situation, so the abatement is not cancelled.
Contact information for the speakers:
Tracey Davis of Columbus Department of Development at (614) 645-8530 and
Kathy Werkmeister of MORPC at (614) 233-4180 and
Dan Sheehan of MORPC at (614) 233-4115.
Michael Wilkos asked about government programs that might mitigate the problem that some
neighborhoods face with rapidly rising property values and higher property taxes for vulnerable
families. Ms. Davis said there arent such programs in place at this time. Mr. Wilkos and Martin
Weston said such programs are needed in Weinland Park.
Ms. Werkmeister said the home repair program began in 2010 with support from The Columbus
Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Campus Partners. From the beginning, there have
been long wait lists for the program. She said just about everyone on the wait list has been
served. Mr. Martin asked about obtaining a steel roof for his house as an issue for sustainabilitiy
in the long term. Mr. Wilkos explained the background to creation of the home repair program.
He said the intent of the program is about repair. He said a conversation could be held after all of
the repair work is completed on the possibility of continuing the program and serving more
Omar Elhagmusa suggested that MORPC reach out to program participants to let them know
where their tax abatement applications are in the process.
Ms. Prosser said Campus Partners has begun renovation on two additional properties: 1286 and
1314 N. Fifth Street. The houses will be available for sale in the spring.

Mr. Martin introduced himself as the new chair of the Housing Committee. He said that, as the
chair, he wants to tackle complex problems and take care of his neighbors.
Julie Erickson asked if the grant for home repairs is subject to federal taxation. Mr. Wilkos said
the grant is not taxable because it is not given to the homeowner, but it is given to MORPC to
contract with the companies making the repairs.
Mr. McElroy distributed the executive summary of the Greater Ohio Policy Centers report on
housing investments in Weinland Park. The Housing Committee will be considering the reports
recommendations in the coming months.
The business of the committee being concluded, Mr. McElroy adjourned the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Summary prepared by Steve Sterrett.

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