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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: Ohio’s Affordable Housing Shortage is Worsening

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Monday, March 20, 2023   

Ohio's affordable housing shortage has worsened over the past year, according to new data from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The report found economic disruptions driven by the pandemic and a shrinking housing supply nationwide have left only 40 units available for every 100 Ohioans seeking affordable housing.

Amy Riegel, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, said more than 400,000 low-income residents are currently burdened by steep rents.

"Sixty-eight percent of them are not living in affordable housing," Riegel reported. "And not only are they not living in affordable housing, they are paying more than 50% of their income on rent and utilities. "

According to data from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, apartment rents were up 12% nationally in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the year prior, with increases in several metro areas exceeding 20%.

In his executive budget, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed expanding the Ohio Housing Trust Fund and creating an affordable housing tax credit. Riegel explained the tax credit would help spur additional housing development.

"It would allow for the state to add more units through this tool that will build upon current programs that already exist, but take them to the next level," Riegel noted. "We know with what we have today is not enough. So it's now time that we have to add new items."

Recent data from the personal finance company NerdWallet shows Cleveland, along with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are the only two cities in the nation ranked as affordable for first-time homebuyers.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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