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Mathews Introduces Legislation to Address Housing Shortage

April 17, 2024
Adam Mathews News

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COLUMBUS, OH – State Representatives Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon) and Dani Isaacsohn (D-Cincinnati) have introduced legislation to increase the housing supply and stabilize home prices across the state by incentivizing local governments to adopt pro-housing policies. This first-of-its-kind bill will revolutionize how local governments around the state approach housing supply by creating a housing fund grant program. 

The program will be administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and local governments will be eligible to apply for the grants if they adopt at least three of the following twelve pro-housing policies: 

  • Reform permitting processes to increase rate of permits reviews and grants for housing development.  Create a “fast-track” review and permit process for trusted developers (e.g., “Clear” for developers) that intentionally includes a diverse range of developers; 
  • Subsidize or decrease cost of water/sewer hookups for major housing projects; 
  • Develop “ready to build” sites: handle acquisition, rezone, do the environmental reviews etc. so all the developer must do is finance and build; 
  • Eliminate or reduce parking requirements for residential development; 
  • Develop a housing plan that tracks the needs, gaps, and potential strategies for the jurisdiction’s housing over the upcoming decade; 
  • Pass policies to preserve existing moderate and low-income housing. 
  • Pass Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) permitting legislations; 
  • Reform zoning code to allow for up to 4-unit buildings in at least 75% of available land in the jurisdiction; 
  • Reform zoning code to promote diversity of housing options; 
  • Create tax abatements specifically for the creation of condos or apartments for sale to middle income buyers; 
  • Legislate density bonuses for developers (additional units, floors, etc. if they provide a certain amount of low-income housing in the development); 
  • Incentivize modular housing. 

This local approach will allow local governments to choose the policies best for their communities, if any, and create incentives to foster a statewide drive to adopt policies that will best help homebuyers.

“This is not a partisan issue, but a generational one, and we are proud to have a broad range of support from across Ohio for this legislation,” said Rep. Mathews. “Rep. Isaacsohn and I are younger members of this General Assembly, and we want to build a future where people can find their own piece of the American dream right here in Ohio. This bill would mark a huge step forward in making Ohio both the heart and home of it all.”

“Everyone in Ohio deserves a safe place to call home that they can afford to live in. Our housing market isn’t working: there are too few places to rent and not enough houses to buy, making everything more expensive. This bill is about pursuing bipartisan solutions to address the urgent challenges that people in Ohio are experiencing when it comes to finding a place to live.” said Rep. Isaacsohn.

Local governments would be required to use the funds to boost homeownership, prepare sites for development, support tenants, or pursue other specific pro-housing policies. The fund aims to be revenue-neutral through the elimination of a non-business tax credit given to owners of multiple properties. 

The legislation awaits a House committee assignment.