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Rep. Lightbody announces over $813 million to support low-income housing development, improve Ohio infrastructure

July 12, 2022
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) served yesterday as a substitute member of the State Controlling board, and in that role voted to approve over $109 million to the Department of Development to continue growing affordable housing in Ohio. Appropriations from programs such as HOME and the National Housing Trust Fund will help to increase homeownership and affordable housing opportunities for low-income Ohioans. 

Additionally, the Department of Development was allocated $100 million from the American Rescue Plan’s Rental Assistance Fund to provide rental and utility payment relief and assistance to Ohioans. The appropriation will be used to fund Ohio's 47 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and to assist customers who are struggling to pay their gas or electric bills. 

“I appreciated the opportunity to temporarily step in to participate in the controlling board and review the items that we approved today. 

“This federal funding for the rental assistance programs will support Ohioans in need by providing assistance with housing and utility payments. In addition, we also approved funding that will provide train-the-trainer programs in identifying, assessing, and managing threats for our educators. This is a commonsense policy that will actually equip our teachers to maintain a safe classroom environment. Also of note is funding to publicize the upcoming primary election, for which early voting is already underway,” said Rep. Lightbody. 

Over $704 million was also allocated to the Department of Transportation to improve Ohio’s highways. This approved funding includes $15 million from the recently authorized federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for statewide planning and research, and over $689 million to continue agreements with consultants that will provide services such as environmental evaluations, design and plan preparation.

Other approved items include:

·         $50 million to the Department of Natural Resources for the plugging of orphaned oil wells in the state; 

·         $30 million to the Department of Health to support the state and local health departments’ school COVID-19 mitigation and education efforts;

·         $9.5 million to the Department of Jobs and Family Services for the development of child support tracking systems;

·         Over $8 million to the Department of Taxation for the implementation of the NextGen project to modernize administration of personal and school district income tax;

·         Over $5.2 million to the Department of Medicaid for the “unwinding” of public health emergency policies; 

·         Over $3.4 million to the Secretary of State’s office to support the upcoming August 2 primary election;

·         $3 million to the Department of Development for the Ohio Third Frontier Diversity and Inclusion Technology Internship Program;

·         Over $482,000 to support the COVID-19 relief literacy and language program;

·         Up to $137,250 for the Department of Education to provide train-the-trainer programs in identifying, assessing, and managing threats and threatening behavior before it escalates to violence.