54,000 households in Central Ohio pay 50% of their income for housing. Homeport, along with other Columbus-based organizations, are working to fix that. This week, Homeport President and CEO Bruce Luecke discusses their work, the growing need for affordable housing in Columbus, and the contributing factors that hamper Columbus’s housing market.
- National Church Residences
- Woda Cooper Companies
- Wallick Communities
- Affordable Housing Alliance
- Community Shelter Board
- Habitat for Humanity
The Confluence Cast is sponsored by The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission featuring stories about local and regional partners that envision and embrace innovative directions in economic prosperity, transportation, sustainability and an inclusive Central Ohio. MORPC’s transformative programming, innovative services and public policy initiatives are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region.
Tim Fulton 00:14
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. We are a weekly Columbus-centric podcast focusing on the civics, lifestyle, entertainment, and people of our city. I’m your host Tim Fulton. This week, I spoke with Bruce Lukey, the President and CEO of Central Ohio affordable housing nonprofit homeport. We discussed low income housing programs, how our population growth has affected the need for affordable housing in Columbus, working with communities on putting in affordable housing, and the contributing factors that hamper Columbus when it comes to affordable housing. You can get more information on what we’ve discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast calm. Also, the confluence cast is on Patreon. Find out how to support this podcast on our website V Confluence cast calm or at patreon.com/confluence. The confluence cast is sponsored this week by the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission or MORP. C, featuring stories about our local and regional partners that envision and embrace innovative directions in economic prosperity, transportation, sustainability, and an inclusive Central Ohio MORP C’s transformative programming, innovative services and public policy initiatives are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region. For more information, please visit more si.org Enjoy the interview. Sitting down here virtually with the CEO of home port Bruce Lukey. Bruce, how are you sir?
Bruce Luecke 01:58
I’m good, Tim. Thanks. Good.
Tim Fulton 02:00
So at a high level home port provides homes for folks with low to moderate income in central Ohio, correct?
Bruce Luecke 02:10
Yeah, correct. So we’re 34 years old, we have 41 communities around Central Ohio. Okay. That’s about 2500 2600 units, we serve 6500 people we have with us. And then we have another three to four in the works that will be coming within the next couple of months, if not year or so. So we’re growing quickly. And we not only you know, provide housing, and yes, it’s affordable housing. Okay, so typically, the client that we serve would make from 20 to 35 $40,000 per year. In fact, they would be rent restricted, based upon the financing that we use,
Tim Fulton 02:56
okay. And then define define rent restricted,
Bruce Luecke 03:00
meaning the rents the actual level of rents are actually restricted by basically the covenants in the loan agreement. Okay. And the investor agreements that we serve, okay, but we are meant to serve, you know, that population.
Tim Fulton 03:17
Got it. And so is it all apartment communities? Is that how folks should think of it?
Bruce Luecke 03:23
So we have today of the 2600 units or so all but 500 are multifamily? Okay, there’s 500 single family homes, but they are lease purchase homes. And again, based upon the financing, which is mostly made up of low income housing tax credits, they have to remain as rental properties for 15 years, and then they’re eligible to buy.
Tim Fulton 03:49
Okay, and is there some credit that they’re getting for those 15 years ahead of time, it’s basically rent to own is that simple way of putting it?
Bruce Luecke 03:58
Yeah, the way we treat it would be that we give them a for the number of years that they were there, we give them $1,000 per year and credit. Okay, and then on top of that, typically, you know, by year 15, homes usually need a makeover, a little bit of a makeover, right? So they typically get a new H vac system, they get a new roof, etc. So we make it so individuals don’t have to put a lot of their own money into the house to you know, to be able to buy,
Tim Fulton 04:27
okay, and the organization started in 87 Correct. How do you identify sorry, I want to be clear here. You guys own the units that you are providing to people?
Bruce Luecke 04:41
In essence Yes. It would take a whole two hours to explain the low how low income housing tax credit. Okay, Graham, but but, you know, most of our projects are financed through those tax credits and it you know, to boil it all down It is we give the equipment, there’s a couple different kinds of tax credit. So I’ll talk about the 9% tax credit. Sure, in essence, which is very competitive, very competitive, difficult to get. In essence, it puts about 70% of the equity into a deal. And then the balance that 30% is a made up of regular debt, in some cases, other forms of what they call soft debt, which is really generally federal funds that flow through the city or the county or whatever. So for for the perp because of those tax credits, those tax credits are awarded to us. And then we turn around and sell them to a syndicator. Who has investors who buy them, which are who are typically banks and insurance company.
Tim Fulton 05:48
Okay. And so that’s basically a low rate of return, but a pretty solid rate of return dependable, if you will.
Bruce Luecke 05:57
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. And so what happens is, you know, they usually buy in for, you know, at least today, 92 ish, 93 cents on the dollar that goes into the project is equity. Okay. But the investor, literally for the first 15 years takes 99.9% of the ownership of the property. Okay, although we are the Managing Member, so we manage everything, we manage the properties, but that allows them to take not only the tax credits, but any losses, like depreciation and things that it would spin off. So that helps to increase the yield for them a little bit.
Tim Fulton 06:33
Got it? It’s a limited partner model. Really? Yeah. Think of it in terms of like, how a maybe a startup is finance, it’s very definitely a limited partner model. Got it? Got it makes sense? And then do you tend to build from the ground up? Are you acquiring properties? How does that process work?
Bruce Luecke 06:51
So we’ve tend to build from the ground up. Okay. Having said that, we are starting now, you know, to look at acquiring properties. The Columbus marketplace, real estate prices have gone up quite a bit. So we’re gonna talk about Yeah, that’s over the last couple of years. And so, you know, being able to buy and keep something affordable, is becoming more and more of a challenge. Okay. And, you know, and we can talk about that, but we, you know, generally speaking, we were a developer, so we would, you know, we would build from the ground up. And that’s what most of our problems are.
Tim Fulton 07:28
Okay. And you guys operate right now, according to your website with roughly a $4.8 million annual budget?
Bruce Luecke 07:39
Yeah, again, I don’t want to get overly complicated. I mean, it’s probably more like a $17 million budget, the difference is, what properties are still being held by investors and what properties are wholly owned by us. So at the end of 15 years with those tax credit properties, for example, we would typically buy out the limited partner interest, we buy it back from the investor, and then we you know, we would own both the GP and the LP interest, so we don’t the whole thing. Got it.
Tim Fulton 08:05
And that’s general partner and limited partner, just for the folks that don’t know. So I’m thinking about you guys, in terms of structure, like who are your stakeholders, your stakeholders are the I would say, the government institutions that are providing the credits and the grants and the loans, the investors who are looking for that promised rate of return on their investment, which tend to be institutions, as you said, and then the third part of it that I think I would hope folks care about the most, are the folks who are benefiting from having affordable housing.
Bruce Luecke 08:42
Yeah, that’s exactly that’s exactly right, you hit it right on the head. So if you think about it this way, you know, the two primary strategic priorities of ours are number one, being able to, you know, develop affordable housing, and to attempt to keep up with the market, although that’s getting a little bit harder and harder these days. And then secondly, and we feel very strongly about this, and it is a, you know, an equal strategic priority. And that is we have a laser focus on the clients that we serve. So if you think about the, you know, the incomes that they have, they’re living paycheck to paycheck, they do run into issues, you know, at times, they don’t necessarily have the same access to resources that you and I would typically have. Right? So we spent a lot of time working with them on making sure number one, that the properties are in great shape, they’re a great place to live, we’d all you know, be proud to live there. Number two, we want to keep them housed, which over the last 20 months has been a little bit more interesting than ever before, but we help them not only through monetary means, but we also provide financial education services, as well as right Isn’t it services to them? So I’ll give you an example, then, you know, that happens and, and an individual needs their car for work, the car breaks down, it’s a large expense. And they literally make a decision to say, Do I pay for my car so I can get the work? Or do I pay the rent? And, and it’s a very logical question. I mean, they’re, you’re, they’re trying to do the right thing, right? So, though, you know, we would step in and help people that way, not only just with money, but then we would also want to want to have them engaged in our financial education classes. So they’re better prepared the next time if that happens, right, right. And then, you know, the third element of that resident services would be linkages to services. So we’re not a social services organization, per se, right? We have, there’s many great social services organizations around the central Ohio area, you know, whether it’s education or health care, or you name it, right. So we have social workers on our staff, who work directly with our individuals, with our clients, our residents, understand what the issue is, get them to the place the best place for them, and then follow back around with them to make sure they’re being taken care of.
Tim Fulton 11:21
Okay, so let’s walk through a residence experience, they aren’t making enough money to be able to afford an apartment in Columbus, they would they need to qualify in order to rent from you guys.
Bruce Luecke 11:35
They wouldn’t need to, they wouldn’t need income qualify. Okay. And that’s on the bottom end and the top end, so they do need to have income to qualify, but then they also, you know, would not, you know, they can’t make generally speaking more than 60% of the area median income. Okay. Right. And that’s a number that’s based on the size of your family, etc. So, but that, so they would qualify that way to get in for the first time, once they’re in? They don’t have to qualify in that way. Okay, you know, every year, right? Well, they’re gonna wait, people out,
Tim Fulton 12:11
right, they start making $10,000 More, you’re not gonna say, Okay, it’s time to go, now, we this isn’t for you anymore.
Bruce Luecke 12:20
Yeah, we would, we wouldn’t do that. And, but, you know, again, we would hope and work with our, you know, residents to see what other opportunities, you know, they might have, we might link them to job training programs, or, you know, things like that. So they might move up and out. But the interesting thing about, you know, our residents is the average tenure in our apartments is six to six and a half years. Okay? If you compare that to a market rate, apartment, market rate apartment tenure is about a year and a half. So that tells you a little bit about on one end, it’s great. We keep them stable, right. It’s what they can afford. So it’s a good thing. Right, having, you know, that kind of tenure. Having said that, though, I would also tell you, sometimes I don’t know if that’s if it is good, because Are there enough programs to help them get up and out? Right? And are they taken advantage of the ability to do that? Or do they have the opportunity to take advantage of other programs to do that?
Tim Fulton 13:20
Yeah. So are you. And this is something that I am not super familiar with? Obviously, I understand that there’s a need for affordable housing, specifically in Columbus. What other organizations, either governmental or non governmental, like yourselves are doing this work?
Bruce Luecke 13:39
Sure. Well, so first of all, you know, we’re not a we’re not a government organization, right? What we happen to be a 501 C three, we’re a nonprofit organization. Columbus is actually kind of has strong players in this field, both on the local as well as the national level. Okay, concentrate on Central Ohio. So we’re probably the largest locally focused organization, but they’re great organizations like national church residences, which is located here, which is across the country. Woda development is here. Wallach is here. And so there’s, you know, the number of good organizations and as because Central Ohio seen such population growth organizations outside of Columbus are coming in to also be, you know, developers here. So, there’s a lot of activity and I would call it competition, but it’s really not. I mean, you know, there’s more than enough business to go around. And, in fact, many of our partners like Wallach, handles property management for, you know, majority of our residences, national church residents who concentrates on the senior population. They provide resident services for seniors. We have six independent, senior affordable housing communities, they do the resident service was forsure because that’s what they’re they’re really good at row. So we work together with them to,
Tim Fulton 15:05
okay, from an economics, not economy, but economic standpoint, where are the the shortages? Is it we constantly need more affordable housing? Are there? How are you connecting with folks who can’t afford a market rate apartment? What do you struggle with?
Bruce Luecke 15:25
So you so you’re gonna hear, you’re gonna hear a couple different numbers in the in the video right so okay. The one that’s most quoted is that there’s 54,000 households in central Ohio, who pay at least 50% or more for their housing.
Tim Fulton 15:41
Okay. 50% or more of their income? Correct. Got it.
Bruce Luecke 15:45
So think about what they can’t buy when right when there’s plenty. Right. So, but that 54,000 have hot, it’s just that they’re paying more than they probably can afford right at home. All right. So that’s one population that yet, think about. And then, you know, just in the last census, right column, Central Ohio grew by 15, over 15%. So we’re continually getting more people in the market, who need housing, and there isn’t available housing, so. So you really kind of have to look at both at serving the clients that are already here. But then serving, you know, the clients that are who are moving here. And that’s been a big issue for Central Highlands, not just affordable, it’s across the board on market rate housing, too. We just don’t have enough housing. Yeah, but the growth and Central Health,
Tim Fulton 16:39
Lisandro hot. Let me ask you, and I’m sure this is maybe a KPI, KPI, key performance indicator that you guys look at, or at least your board wants to know, what’s your occupancy rate of your units?
Bruce Luecke 16:53
Effectively, it’s 100%. Okay, my you know, you know, it might be 98%, because we might be turning a unit or turning the unit here or there or whatever. But effectively, it’s 100%. And we have waiting.
Tim Fulton 17:04
Got it. And that that was actually going to me, my follow up question is what how long is the wait, for someone who qualifies? And I assume it’s a it’s a binary state, right? Like they either qualify, or they don’t, it’s not a this person is in more need than another? Correct?
Bruce Luecke 17:21
Now, yeah, that’s, that’s generally true. It depends on it could depend upon the, the community that they’re moving into, okay. Or the, when we structure these tax credit deals, typically a percentage of the rents, they’re at varying percentages. So we might have X number of 60%, you know, y number at 50%, z number at 30%. Okay, so it depends what we need to fill, and what’s available. And so it could be that someone earning 60% of the area median income, wouldn’t necessarily be able to get an apartment because we have to fill that 30% unit.
Tim Fulton 18:04
Gotcha. And that’s a guarantee that you’re making when you’re structuring the deal up front. Right.
Bruce Luecke 18:10
Yeah, it’s a deed restriction. I mean, it’s a part of the financing.
Tim Fulton 18:13
Got it. That’s, and so you’re limited by that. It’s not that you’re a bad guy. It’s literally like, this is what this was built for. That’s exactly right. Gotcha. And so could you say, like, on average, then how long someone may have to wait upon qualifying upon applying how long they may have to wait to get an affordable housing unit?
Bruce Luecke 18:34
I’m probably don’t have an exact number for you. Okay, with some people, it’s six months to a year and maybe even more, I mean, I over the last 20 months. I mean, we’ve virtually had nobody move out. Right. Right. And so it’s been really difficult, you know, through the pandemic,
Tim Fulton 18:51
okay, can you talk about some of the challenges that you guys faced during that?
Bruce Luecke 18:56
Sure. So with the pandemic, you know, with the focus we have on our residents, many of them had jobs that were, you know, very vulnerable to either losing that either lost their job, or in the harder ones. In many cases, individuals were hourly workers, and their hours were significantly cut back. So think about that for a second, right? If your hours get cut back to 30 or 20%, of what they were, while you still have to support, you know, a family or and, you know, and all the things you have, but you can’t file for unemployment. Right. Right. So, typically, in pre pandemic, we usually help them on average, about 60 households per year. Avoid emergency eviction, you know, first, you know, reason that in 2020 was about 280 And this year, it’ll be more than that. So last year, we paid out about $475,000, in rental assistance, okay? Help people stay in their homes, this year, that number is going to look more like $600,000. To help keep up, people stay in their homes, right. And those are dollars that have come either from two sources. They’ve either come through the federal government, you know, the subsidy monies. And that’s where most of the dollars have come through. And we we’ve partnered with impact Community Action, they are providing those dollars, or they’re the, you know, the provider of those dollars in working with the government. Or immediately, once the pandemic started, we actually set aside, you know, $100,000 of our own money, and then had it matched by a number of organizations like the Columbus Foundation, and a couple banks and United Way etc. And so we have our own fun, too. If they don’t quite qualify for, you know, this, you know, the subsidy money, then they probably qualify for the dollars that we have set aside because we want to keep them house, we have a focus on keeping them housed and stable.
Tim Fulton 21:16
Right. And I just want to make sure that I’m clear here, they’re paying their rent to you as well. Right. That’s right. So basically, you’re, you’re correcting the books for them. Yeah,
Bruce Luecke 21:27
but it’s keeping them out of eviction court, you know, in all that all the things that go along with that, right, we’re keeping them stable?
Tim Fulton 21:34
Absolutely. It feels very similar to the payroll protection program that happened towards the beginning of the pandemic, where you’re basically allowing things to remain the same, because the situation is very, very different than it was before. Correct. Gotcha. There’s a lot of conversation that happens around affordable housing, and specifically nimbyism, not in my backyard. How do you guys identify where you should put affordable housing units? And how do you address the surrounding communities? If there’s pushback towards from that?
Bruce Luecke 22:10
Sure. Alright, so that’s two different questions. Okay. So, and actually, your, you know, the first about how do we identify, yeah, is actually kind of interesting, too. So, you know, I, in the ideal world, just like any developer, you would go to where the most need would be, right? The thing though, that we have to factor on top of that is, remember, I said that we finance with low income housing tax credits. So the, you know, the 9% tax credits, which provide the 70% of the right, they are very competitive, and they’re, they’re awarded by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, okay. And they have a plan, it’s called a QA P, or a Qualified Allocation Plan. It’s almost like scoring points, like you gotta you got to meet, you have to meet certain things to be able to qualify a property could be near transportation, or there’s just all kinds of different, you know, different type items. Okay. In many cases, what that does, is now that kind of changes where we need to go to where we can score the best. Yeah. Right. And because last year, just to give you an example, you know, probably through throughout the state, there will probably at least 90 applications that went in for, you know, credits, I would bet 35 were awarded. Okay. So it’s very competitive,
Tim Fulton 23:44
and it’s a fixed amount of money every year, right? It
Bruce Luecke 23:47
is not always a fixed amount of money. I mean, once you the credits are awarded, right, it is, but not all credits are the same, okay? On the size of the project, etc, they are kept though, you know, that’s something that we just, it’s a way of life with if you’re going to finance with tax credits, because you have to find a place where you know, where we’re going to qualify whether whether it’s in central Ohio, because it’s growing so quickly, doesn’t necessarily qualify, as well as like Cincinnati, or Cleveland, particularly Cleveland for a couple different things that you know, some of it has to do with the percentage of need. Some of it has to do with the transit score. So how, you know, how close are you to transit, etc. Well, if you compare a more mature city like Cleveland, they have more areas that would, you know, be able to garner points than a growing city like Columbus. So for example, we had an application in to build in the city of Delaware, you know, the last tax tax credit cycle, it just didn’t score well, because there’s no transportation, you know, up there, etc, a number of different factors. So those are things we have to always You know, keep in mind, and it becomes a part of what we do.
Tim Fulton 25:04
Okay, what’s interesting here is you’re talking about the various contributing factors for a limit in the amount of affordable housing we have. That’s right. Got it? And then to address the other question, how do you approach the surrounding communities? Or do you? We do, okay.
Bruce Luecke 25:25
Yeah, I mean, over the past couple years, so we’ve completed a project in Grove City, we’ve completed a project and Reynoldsburg. You know, so we work with within the city, and we work, you know, in the suburbs in the suburbs. So this gets to your second question about, you know, community support, etc, right. Yeah. Every time any developer, it doesn’t matter if it’s a market rate development, or an affordable development, right, it still has to go through a process, a zoning process. If it needs to be rezone, it still has to go through an approval process and in that community. And so, you know, maybe what makes affordable, a little bit harder than some others. Right, is you do we do get nimbyism, and we work very closely with those neighborhoods, we want to be a good neighbor. And so we, you know, we don’t tend to force anything at anybody, we get to know the neighborhood’s we get if it’s in the city of Columbus, you know, we know that, you know, we know of neighborhood Commission’s we know, the people who, you know, will make a difference in those areas. And we spend a lot of time with them. Does it always work? No, it doesn’t always work. But, you know, that’s the approach, you know, that we’ve opted to take, and that is, we’re going to be we have to be a good neighbor. And so, you know, we’ve had many examples where, you know, we’ve might have changed some things slightly, because, you know, it’s a, it turned out to be, you know, something that the community brought up, it was a win win. And, and we and we changed a couple things. There’s a lot of discussion that goes on, prior to taking it, you know, to any kind of municipal, you know, bodies to, you know, to get approved
Tim Fulton 27:17
to get that support. Absolutely. Right. And, Bruce, what is your background? What brings you to this role? Yeah,
Bruce Luecke 27:24
so I was, for the most part, I was a banker for most of my career. Okay, I was on the home port board. I had actually retired. So I had retired. I’ve been retired for about a year, and then we needed to replace our CEO. I think it goes something like this one of the board members, we had a small group of board members sitting around talking about what we were going to do and and what to look for means that you’re not doing anything right now. So how about filling in on an interim basis? So I did I filled in on interim basis, somehow interim turned into permanent NAB been here, you know, it’ll be six years. I’m actually retiring at the end of the year. So relations. Thank you. But so yeah, so interim turned into six years, but it’s been wonderful. It’s been just a blessing to be able to do this.
Tim Fulton 28:07
Yeah, absolutely. I tend to end interviews with two really basic questions. What is Columbus doing? Well, and what is Columbus doing? Not so well. So I want to posit that to you, you can obviously include all of Central Ohio, from your perspective, and this could be specifically related to home port or not, what is Columbus, excuse me? What is Central Ohio doing?
Bruce Luecke 28:32
So, um, you know, about six years or six, seven years ago, we came together with a number of our peers, to create the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, here in this market. And it has paid a lot of dividends. I was skeptical at first having organizations you know, I mean, you know, you do a little of this, right? Well, you’re giving up power, right, like we are. But, you know, we’ve been very good at really concentrating on the top two or three things that are going to help everyone, right. And it’s not only been financially but it’s also been very helpful from an advocacy perspective. And so I’ve seen, you know, just the whole, affordable housing, concept and ideas has grown so much in central Ohio over the past five to six years, where the community really embraces that business community has embraced it. And when I hear peers around the state from other cities, I don’t think there’s any place like Central Ohio that has truly embraced affordable housing as a need. Now whether we’re all there yet is a different issue. But people see it and I think there was a couple things that drives that. But affordable housing is always going to be a social issue. It always has and always will, right. I mean, stability is just critical. But I think what the central Ohio community and this is not just the public sector, but this is the private sector. Here is what, you know what they’ve also truly realizes this is an economic development issue. Mm hmm. If, you know, if we don’t have housing, we’re not going to be able to continue to attract business, we’re not going to be happy and be able to have, you know, strong, strong business community here, a strong neighborhood community here. You know, the whole point about being a prosperous community isn’t going to happen, unless we have housing for people to live. Right. So they’ve embraced that. And so I think that’s been the difference. I mean, it’s been the combination of the two. And so I see Central High, Ohio is out ahead. And, you know, a couple things have happened, just to demonstrate that point, you know, Columbus passed $100 million affordable, you know, bond fund a couple years ago, right, allocate dollars, there were a number of organizations working together with the Alliance, who put together a $100 million housing Action Fund to be able to fund what we do here. So there’s more and more happening there that I think the awareness level is very high in Central Hall.
Tim Fulton 31:14
And it’s a matter of collaboration to that, like, that’s, that’s what’s causing that awareness and correct and moving the ball forward.
Bruce Luecke 31:23
Yeah, I mean, the alliance is interesting, because if you think about the continuum of housing, right, so we concentrate in the permanent space, but one of our peers in the alliance is the shelter board. And Habitat for Humanity’s in there, and, and permanent supportive housing organizations are in there. And so, you know, it kind of goes across the, you know, that whole spectrum of housing and the need for housing, because there isn’t just one need. I think the second thing real quickly, that we’ve really tried to work on that I think the community is really starting to understand is there is absolutely no silver bullet here. There’s no silver bullet, right. So we actually built a three part platform, the Alliance did, and have been working, you know, working on the platform. But number one, we do need more housing, right, we do need to invest in more housing. And so you know, we need the dollars to be able to do that, number one. Number two, we need to keep the housing that we already have. Affordable, huh? Oh, and that comes in two different forms, that comes either in the form of, you know, making sure neighborhoods stay stable, and putting dollars back in the neighborhoods to help, you know, keep them that way. Or there are more and more apartments now, because of the market. And, and what’s happened in the market that are increased in value. Mm hmm. So it’s very difficult for an organization like us to go by market value, but keep rents affordable, right. So so that’s another area that we’re really, really concentrating on. And then I would say the third element is something that’s based on housing, but it’s not really housing, it’s, it’s really based on helping people increase their incomes, so they can afford more. And so we just kicked off, I think, just a really neat program called resiliency bridge. Okay. And what resiliency bridge does is provide people who have the motivation to increase their earning power, and their, you know, their skills or their education, right. It surrounds them with housing support, with food support, with a case manager, and the whole point is to get them from where they are at today, to at least about a $20 per hour job. Okay, because they have to do that to get through the, you know, the benefit cliff. Right, right. And if they can get to that point, they can come out of affordable housing, and they’re, it’s a benefit to them, right? I mean, they’re building their skills, because the, when we talk to our residents, one of the problems that you know, they have is when you ask them, you know, would you like to be able to do this or like, sure, but I can’t afford to take a day off a week off a month off to be able to go back to school or re training or whatever, right. So this resiliency program actually supports them for that period of time. So it takes risk away from them. So it does allow them to get to that point. So it’s just getting off the ground now. And it’s based upon a program that we’ve been piloting at Columbus State called Success bridge, okay, which has helped students stay in school with these kinds of with these kinds of programs. So that’s great. So I think that’s a lot of benefit benefit stuff. You know, I mean, as far as where we still need to go, Columbus is really looking at their zoning code. They’re looking at tax incentives. You know, a number of the Munis municipalities are doing the same thing. Those things need to happen. regulatory environment to get things done is just difficult right now and so they need to get done.
Tim Fulton 35:08
Okay. And that’s your answer to what what is Columbus doing? Not so well, it’s this opportunity to fix these the regulatory environment basically.
Bruce Luecke 35:17
Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s not so well, but it’s not done yet. Right. So
Tim Fulton 35:22
well, it’s hard to do things we got, you know, we’ve got a city charter, we’ve got all kinds of things that that, you know, we could we could dust off and look at, right.
Bruce Luecke 35:30
That’s exactly right. But that’s in process. So relook at the zoning code is in process right now.
Tim Fulton 35:35
Absolutely. Is there anything else, Bruce, that you wanted to cover today?
Bruce Luecke 35:39
No, you know, I just, I just can’t reinforce again, the the need, you know, particularly in a growth community like Central Ohio, you know, one and isn’t it wonderful to live in a community that’s growing and thriving, but sometimes that also brings, you know, you know, the dark side of, of, of, you know, growing with it, and we just have to make sure we acknowledge that. And, you know, and again, the last thing I would say is, like I said before, there’s no silver bullets here, or there’s no one organization or project that can do it alone. And so we have to band together we have to work together across the business community, in the public sector and across, you know, the housing markets, etc. To be able to do
Tim Fulton 36:21
this. Absolutely. Bruce, thank you so much for your time. Sure,
Bruce Luecke 36:25
Tim, I appreciate it.
Tim Fulton 36:37
Thank you for listening to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. Again, you can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast comm please rate subscribe, share this episode of The confluence cast with your friends, family, contacts, enemies, your favorite housing advocate. If you’re interested in sponsoring the confluence cast, get in touch with us. We can be reached by email at info at the confluence cast calm. Our theme music was composed by Benji Robinson, our producers Phillip Cogley, I’m your host, Tim Fulton. Have a great week.