Written by Bruce Luecke, President & CEO, Homeport
Thirty years ago, real estate developer Don Kelley’s commitment to “living with purpose” sparked the formation of what is now Homeport. Don’s son Tim has served as Chairman of the Board. Tim’s son Michael is currently on our Board. Thanks to three generations of the Kelley Family thousands of Central Ohio families and seniors live in quality, affordable homes and benefit from a multitude of social service partnerships.
It is why we are honoring the Kelleys with our 2017 Voice & Vision Award in a special ceremony the community is invited to participate in on Oct. 19 at St. Charles Preparatory School.
The vision and spirit of the Kelley Family inspires our staff every day to find ways to help address the growing demand of affordable housing in Central Ohio. And the challenge is huge:
- Fifty-four thousand Central Ohio households are paying more than half their incomes for housing.
- The poverty population has grown at more than three times the rate of the overall population (2009-2014) and extends into Columbus suburbs.
- There is only one affordable rental unit for every three renters in poverty.
- Of the top 10 occupations with the most annual openings, nine do not pay workers enough to afford housing. The one exception is Registered Nurses.
- More than 17,000 Central Ohioans are on the application list for a rental subsidy.
There are currently 32 Homeport communities with more housing in process.
Drive along Hamilton Road in Whitehall between Broad and Main Streets and you may notice a three-story brick and stone building near completion. Leasing is underway for the 64-unit “Hamilton Crossing” apartment building for seniors.
North of Downtown, Homeport is beginning to build for 33 single family homes in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. Under terms outlined by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), the rental homes can be converted to homeownership after 15 years.
In July, OHFA awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to Homeport to set the stage for building 30 primarily attached units, all with garages, off Livingston Avenue in Reynoldsburg. The site is across from Blacklick Metro Park, on a bus-line connecting to job centers and in a desirable school district. We expect to begin construction the first quarter of 2018.
The team at Homeport is truly in the “people business.” Real estate development and resident services are simply the tools we use to provide our clients with the dignity, security and opportunity they deserve. The true beneficiaries of our work are the 5,700 individuals we have the honor of serving every day.
But all this would not have happened and could not happen without individuals who choose to make a difference in our community. Please join us in celebrating the Kelleys and in helping sustain our efforts. Visit our web site to learn more about event tickets and sponsorship opportunities. Thank you, friends and partners, for allowing us to help others. And thank you Kelley Family for your Voice & Vision over the last thirty wonderful years.