Ohio gives Montgomery County Land Bank $7M to build 40 homes, renovate 24

State program aims to address housing shortage, help lower-income buyers; maximum sales price is $180,000 and home sites are not yet selected

The state of Ohio has awarded $6.96 million to the Montgomery County Land Bank to build and sell 40 residential properties, and to rehabilitate and sell another two dozen existing homes.

The funding, from the brand new Welcome Home Ohio program, should help expand the supply of single-family, owner-occupied homes in Montgomery County.

The local land bank was by far the largest grant recipient in the state.

Studies have shown and leaders have said that Dayton and Montgomery County need thousands of new housing units to address a shortage of affordable housing.

“The focus of this program is on creating more housing opportunities,” said Paul Bradley, executive director of the Montgomery County Land Bank. “For a county facing a drastic housing shortage, this will help some, but by no means alleviate our overarching housing crisis. We view this as a part of the local efforts to address this issue.”

The state of Ohio this week awarded the Montgomery County Land Bank $6.2 million in grants to purchase 40 single-family homes and $720,000 in grants to rehab 24 homes.

Welcome Home Ohio is going to provide $100 million in grants to help land banks across the state buy, rehab and build housing. The program also will provide $50 million in tax credits to land banks and developers.

Welcome Home Ohio seeks to increase the amount of single-family housing in the state, Patrick Smith, chief of the community services division of the Ohio Department of Development, said during a webinar last year explaining the program.

Welcome Home Ohio grants will be used to purchase qualifying properties, which must have at least 1,000 square feet of habitable space per unit, according to the Ohio Department of Development. Grant funding also will help fix up homes that are falling into disrepair, ensuring they are kept in active use, Smith said.

Bradley said the 40 homes will be new builds, and that the Montgomery County Land Bank will put out a request for proposals to homebuilders. New home sites have not been selected yet.

The local land bank is in the process of acquiring the 24 properties that will be rehabbed, Bradley said.

The condition of the properties could range from being uninhabitable to needing modernization and significant renovation.

Bradley said the land bank already does rehab work, and the grant money will help the agency do more of it.

The 40 new homes and the 24 rehabbed homes will be sold to buyers who meet program criteria. The Ohio Department of Development says the maximum sales price is $180,000.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to receive this generous award and proud to participate with the state and our member communities in providing much-needed housing for our residents,” Land Bank Chair Carolyn Rice said. “The legislature has shown outstanding leadership in recognizing the housing shortage and taking bold steps to help communities find solutions.”

Welcome Home Ohio requires buyers to have an annual income of 80% or below the area median income. In Montgomery County, 80% of the area median income for a family of four was $74,300 in 2023.

Buyers will be required to be the primary occupant of the home for at least five years. The properties will have 20-year deed restrictions that require they remain affordable to people earning 80% of the area median income.

When land banks go to sell the properties, they must be sold for owner-occupied use, according to the Ohio Department of Development. Residential properties in the program cannot be used as rentals.

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