March 28, 2000. The Columbus Dispatch.
Columbus can do only so much to help families build homes in urban neighborhoods, Mayor Michael B. Coleman told 1,200 members of the group BREAD.
So the organization might have to provide some of its own bread to reach its goal of a $50 million affordable-housing trust fund, Coleman said during a meeting at the Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Coleman spoke last night to the coalition of 40 area churches and synagogues that make up Building Responsibility, Equality and Dignity on the same day he provided details of a $20 million trust fund to encourage housing development in the central city.
“That is a giant, giant leap in this community,” Coleman said. “But it is going to take others to help. . . . Private institutions, public institutions, nonprofit groups, churches and BREAD itself should be a part of making contributions.”
The city focused on investing $20 million-$35 million in the fund in the next five years by issuing bonds and paying $1 million annually. “I don’t think the city has the capacity to provide more,” Coleman said after the meeting. “We have led the way. Others will have to follow.”
The Rev. Jeffrey P. Kee of BREAD lauded Coleman’s commitment. “That action is unprecedented in the history of our city,” he said. Coleman was asked to respond to the group’s Jubilee Housing plan, a proposal that includes passage of a $50 million bond issue that would be repaid through city income tax and by increasing the Franklin County title transfer fee to $3 from $1 per $1,000 valuation. The fee increase could generate an additional $8 million annually, supporters said. “That will be for the county to decide,” Coleman said.
The mayor also said he would consider a proposal by BREAD for a 50 percent property-tax abatement on the increased value of new and renovated housing in census tracks with a low median income. Coleman also promised to meet regularly to review progress. The group has representation on the 16-member task force that is overseeing the trust fund and will bring its findings before Columbus City Council on Sept. 30.
Housing task-force members are: the Rev. Stan Benecki of Sts. Augustine and Gabriel Catholic Church and BREAD’s Jubilee Housing plan; Jim Bowman, president, National AffordableHousing Trust; David Caldwell, sub-district director, United Steelworkers of America; Walter Cates, president, Main Street Business Association and Main Street Homes; Bill Faith, executive director, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio; Cindy Flaherty, director of the Federal National Mortgage Association’s Columbus office; Dennis Guest, executive director, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority; and Tom Hart, executive director, Building Industry Association of Central Ohio.
Other members include: Keith Key, managing partner, Omni Management Group; Amy Klaben, executive director of Columbus Housing Partnership; Bruce Massa, president, Columbus Board of Realtors; Helen McDaniel, chairwoman, Greater Hilltop Senior Housing Committee; Chip Santer, president, SanterHousing Capital; Warren Tyler, president, Warmarr Capital; Norm Wilson, Huntington Bank’s senior vice president; and Randolph Wilson, community builder, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s state office.