NOTE: I WAS RECENTLY INTERVIEWED ABOUT RISING RENTS . TO VIEW THE FULL STORY AS PUBLISHED, CLICK ON COLUMBUS DISPATCH BELOW.
By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch
June 4, 2017
Some neighborhoods in the ZIP codes where housing subsidies are increasing have high concentrations of people with low-income jobs, according to the research done for the Dispatch series “Dividing Lines” in March. The series highlighted the increasing concentration of wealth and poverty in the region.
Some advocates of low-income residents are worried that rents are rising too high in some neighborhoods, including central-city areas such as the Short North. According to housing authority records, the number of people living in subsidized housing in the Short North’s 43201 ZIP code has decreased by more than half since 1994, from 625 to 295. That includes people living in public housing and those using vouchers to rent privately owned units.
The average rent in the Columbus area has increased more than 4 percent in each of the past two years, and it is forecast to rise an additional 4.2 percent this year, to $898 a month, which is $10,776 a year. According to the housing authority, the average household income of those living in public housing or using vouchers is $14,197 a year.
Many people have taken their housing vouchers to places where landlords have lowered rents to fill units. “There are a significant number of older complexes with vacant units,” said Rita Parise, housing administrator for the city of Columbus.
Amy Klaben, the former president and CEO of the Columbus nonprofit developer Homeport, said the result is new concentrations of poverty.
“As rents go up in neighborhoods that are revitalized, people end up moving,” Klaben said. “Are we just making more neighborhoods with lots of poverty? I think that’s what you’re finding.”
To see the Mark Ferenchik's entire article in The Columbus Dispatch, please see: Dispatch: Higher Rents in City Core Push Poor Out