Columbus housing tight, but city says more is on the way
COLUMBUS - If you've been trying to buy a home or rent an apartment in Columbus, you may have noticed that it's slim pickings.
The Columbus Housing Authority said it's been tight for years, but how bad is it now?
“I would say the last five years have been more pronounced in that supply and demand being not where it needs to be,” executive director Bonnie McPhillips said.
McPhillips said it's the tightest she's ever seen it.
She said it's caused by a perfect storm of factors, including Columbus having a robust job market and residents retiring but choosing to stay in their homes.
“Most of those baby boomers do not leave our community," McPhillips said. "They stay in those homes that maybe they’ve lived in for years and years. But yet, we have to fill all those openings and some of those folks, good chance, come from outside the community to take those jobs.”
She also said the cost of building has discouraged building new rental units in town for years.
McPhillips said that supply and demand imbalance has also caused rental rates to go up.
But luckily, some relief is on the horizon. The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce said their housing committee went to work on the issue several years ago.
"The Housing Committee for the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce got together and initiated a funding campaign where they could create the capital and the funds that would be available to developers,” president Jeanne Schieffer said.
She said several developers were selected housing projects.
“Out by Menards, there should be the start of a future apartment complex that should hold approximately 180 different apartments,” Schieffer said.
In fact, she said over the next two years, around 400 new homes, including duplexes and apartments for low-to-moderate incomes are coming to town.
Adding to that, she says other independent developers are starting their own projects, creating more housing opportunities in Columbus.