OHFA Awards Funding to Central Ohio Housing Opportunity Project, Move to PROSPER

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COLUMBUS - The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has awarded $75,000 in funding to the central Ohio opportunity housing project, Move to PROSPER, for their four-year pilot program. The program will provide short-term rental support to help families with young children move to high-opportunity neighborhoods that are safe, have quality schools, provide access to employment and possess other indicators of opportunity. This unique program utilizes private sector and philanthropic resources to fund the short-term rental support. OHFA's funding will be used in the evaluation process that will take place once the program is complete.

Year one will consist initially with designing the program and selecting families to participate, with rental assistance beginning in the second half of year one and continuing into years two, three and the first half of year four. Families will be relocated to high-opportunity areas and into affordable housing units provided by participating landlords. Furthermore, participants will also receive mobility and life coaching to help them transition smoothly to these new neighborhoods, as well as to help them remain successful after the program ends. The second half of the fourth year of the program will be dedicated to creating reports and evaluations that could inform future initiatives.

This pilot program aims to achieve three primary goals: to develop a sustainable, local, opportunity-based housing program; to directly expand access to opportunity, foster stability and enhance well-being and long-term prosperity; and to generate regional dialogue on the impact affordable housing can have in these high-opportunity areas.

Created by The Ohio State University and other community partners, Move to PROSPER aims to improve life outcomes for residents and add to the body of knowledge regarding the impact of time-limited rental assistance.

The program will start this month and hopes to begin accepting and moving participants to their new homes by the summer of 2018.

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