Stories of Home – Housing

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency is proud to present Stories of Home – a blog that features current happenings in the housing industry and also highlights those that have been positively impacted by our Agency's work.

  • Spring Cleaning

    Prepping Your Home for Spring

    The arrival of flowers, awakening of trees, and warmer temperatures mean spring is here! Spring is a great time to clean your home from top to bottom inside and outside. When creating your to-do list for this annual ritual, here are some things to consider.

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  • Building Credit Scores

    Building Your Credit Score

    A strong credit score is important when securing a mortgage loan, so we recently asked Ohio's housing counseling agencies for their top suggestions for individuals wanting to build or improve their credit or FICO® scores.

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  • Women and Homeownership

    Women and Homeownership

    Single women continue to dominate homeownership nationally despite the financial and societal obstacles that most of them face. As of January 2024, single women own approximately 2.71 million more homes than single men across all 50 states.

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  • CONVERGENCE Columbus

    OHFA Partners with CONVERGENCE Columbus

    During Black History Month, OHFA celebrates its partnership with CONVERGENCE Columbus, a cross-sector collective of community leaders, industry professionals, and practitioners solving challenges to Black and minority homeownership.

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  • Financial Wellbeing

    Improving Your Financial Wellness

    January is Financial Wellness Month and a great time to set yourself up for financial success in 2024. Regardless of the economic environment, The Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary suggests you can improve your finances by implementing the following tips.

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  • New Builds in Ohio

    New Builds in Ohio: A Changing & Challenging Housing Landscape

    Reports of the housing shortage have been dominant in the public consciousness for the past several years. At OHFA, we are identifying the various causes of this shortage and implementing programs to address it.

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  • Fall Home Preparation

    Fall Home Preparation

    Who knew there were so many chores to prepare your home for fall in Ohio? We've created a list of do-it-yourself (DIY) tips – in no particular order to help you get started this autumn season.

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  • National Preparedness Month

    Emergency Plans for National Preparedness Month

    September is National Preparedness Month, and the focus of FEMA's 2023 Ready Campaign is preparing older adults for any disaster. Older adults tend to be more vulnerable as they face numerous challenges.

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  • Beat the Summer Heat

    Help with the Heat

    The dog days of summer are most certainly here, but there are ways to cool your home without breaking the bank. Energy companies and other experts suggest the following energy-saving tips listed in this blog post.

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  • Real Estate Agents

    Licensed Real Estate Agents: Key in Homeownership Month

    As we celebrate Homeownership Month, it's the perfect time to highlight the importance of working with a licensed real estate agent to help you navigate the real estate market in Ohio and the many benefits and opportunities that licensed real estate agents bring to make the dream of homeownership a reality.

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  • Financial Literacy

    Financial Literacy

    April is National Financial Literacy month and we want to remind Ohioans about the importance of financial literacy and establishing and maintaining healthy financial habits. Good habits over the long-term help improve your credit score, increase your savings, and can help you realize your dream of homeownership.

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  • Spring Cleaning Tips

    Prepping a House for Spring: Plan the Work and Work the Plan

    Spring cleaning means it's time to clean your house thoroughly from top to bottom inside and outside. Here are some lists to help you throughout the process.

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  • OHFA Training

    Making an Impact in All 88 Counties

    OHFA has an ambitious goal in 2023 – to train lending, real estate, and counseling partners in each of Ohio's 88 counties on how the Agency's programs can help Ohioans achieve their dreams of homeownership.

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  • Women and Homeownership

    Women and Homeownership

    Women are second only to married couples in the home buying market since the National Association of Realtors started collecting related data in 1981. Single women own approximately 2.64 million more homes than single men across all 50 states.

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  • OHFA's 40th Anniversary

    OHFA Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

    Since its inception, OHFA has assisted 153,324 Ohioans achieve the dream of homeownership through loans, down payment assistance, and Mortgage Tax Credits and provided more than $11 billion in affordable mortgage loans. Learn more interesting facts from our 40 year history.

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  • HTC Resident Profile

    New Housing Tax Credit Resident Profile Helps Determine Housing Needs in Ohio

    The new Housing Tax Credit Resident Profile looks at the demographics of the more than 173,000 residents living in affordable rental units in 2021 that were funded using the federal Housing Tax Credit program. This information will help OHFA and its partners determine where needs are being met and where gaps remain.

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  • Move to PROSPER

    Move to PROSPER: Creating Housing Opportunities for Franklin County Families

    This three-year pilot was designed to help single mothers with children under the age of 13 in Franklin County improve their quality of life by providing safe, healthy, and affordable rental housing in high resourced neighborhoods.

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  • Fair Housing

    What is Fair Housing?

    April is Fair Housing Month and marks the 54th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination can take on many forms and is not always obvious. Knowing your rights and where to go should you experience discrimination as a renter or homebuyer is important.

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  • Preparing to Buy a Home

    Preparing to Buy a Home

    In a tough real estate market, it's important to be prepared, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. How do you prepare? OHFA can help. Here are a few tips to help make the home buying process a bit easier!

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  • Home Warranty Benefits

    The Benefits of a Home Warranty

    If you have a home or are thinking about purchasing a home, homeowner insurance is something you have researched and planned to purchase. You may also be considering a home warranty. It's important to understand how a home warranty differs from homeowner insurance and the benefits it provides.

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  • Ohio Housing Conference Overview

    2021 Ohio Housing Conference Wrap Up

    The 2021 Ohio Housing Conference, "Moving Forward with New Perspective," was held virtually on December 1st and 2nd. Hosted in collaboration with Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, the two-day event provided more than 20 sessions exploring trending topics in the affordable housing industry, and drew more than 700 attendees.

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  • Broadband Access

    Broadband Access in New Construction

    Broadband infrastructure has been a hot topic over the last two years, particularly as the pandemic underscored just how many people do not have access to high speed internet. The subject aligns with OHFA's work to provide quality, safe, and affordable housing options for Ohioans.

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  • Clark-Fulton Neighborhood

    Cleveland's Clark-Fulton Neighborhood Ready for Transformation

    The FHAct50 Building Opportunity Fund was designed to build mixed-income neighborhoods by developing affordable housing in areas seeing a rise in market rate housing. In Cleveland, the Clark-Fulton neighborhood will see three new housing developments.

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  • Homeowner Assistance Fund

    Ohio's Homeowner Assistance Plan

    President Biden announced the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which would provide relief to Americans impacted by COVID. The Homeowners Assistance Plan provides funding for each state and other territories to provide additional relief to those struggling to make payments toward their mortgages and/or other financial obligations related to their home.

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  • Power of Home

    Advice and Support for Homeowners Post-Purchase

    It's amazing to have a place to call your own. It also means unexpected home repairs and hidden home maintenance costs. Power of Home is a new initiative that aims to help homeowners in many of those areas by giving them the tools to increase homeownership sustainability.

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  • How Ohio Compares

    Ohio vs Neighboring States: A Housing Comparison

    Knowing how Ohio stacks up against other states provides additional insight into the housing landscape. Compared to similar states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, how does Ohio fare in providing affordable and accessible housing?

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  • LIHTC Residents

    Increasing Education Prospects and Earning Potential for LIHTC Property Residents

    Researchers found roughly a quarter of all matched adult OHFA tenants had some postsecondary education or training from a public college or technical center in Ohio and that higher education or training was related to higher wages at each level.

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  • Homeownership

    Homeownership. Ready When You Are.

    Wherever you are in your process, OHFA understands that buying a home can be both an exhilarating and exhausting experience. While there are plenty of questions to get answers to and several homes to see along the way, for eligible homebuyers our homeownership programs can help relieve some of the financial pressure.

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  • MLK & Fair Housing

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fair Housing

    Did you know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. help lay the foundation for the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which made it illegal to discriminate against anyone looking to rent, buy or access financing for housing nationwide?

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  • Homelessness in Ohio

    Homelessness in Ohio

    A new report from the Ohio Human Services Data Warehouse finds the number of Ohioans experiencing homelessness continues to rise. The number of people experiencing homelessness has grown consistently, increasing by 30.8% between 2012 and 2018.

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  • Domestic Violence

    Surviving Domestic Violence while Surviving a Pandemic

    When a survivor of domestic violence decides to leave, fear is a natural response. But imagine deciding to leave an abusive environment in the midst of a pandemic. Because many people are not leaving home as often, the danger is more pronounced.

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  • Addiction Recovery

    Community Over Isolation: Addiction Recovery in the Age of COVID-19

    Addiction recovery is a journey without an arrival date. Every day free from drugs and/or alcohol is a victory. But when a pandemic threatens to upend the recovery journey, what happens?

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  • Racial Inequality

    These Five Charts Show the True Struggle for Black Homeownership

    Owning a home is arguably one of the best ways to build equity and intergenerational wealth. For many Black Ohioans, purchasing a home and the wealth-building benefits that come with homeownership are often difficult or out of reach.

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  • Race and Impact on Education

    Affordable Housing, Race and Impact on Education

    Intensely segregated schools are defined as schools with 90-100% non-white student enrollment, or 90-100% white student enrollment and the numbers of these schools has tripled since 1988.

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  • Ready for Homeownership?

    Are You Ready for Homeownership?

    While homeownership can be a great tool for building wealth, it also includes expenses like taxes, insurance, utility payments and unexpected repairs. As you begin the homebuying process, make sure you are financially ready.

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  • Earth Day

    Going Green: Energy in Housing

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The impact housing-related issues have on our planet vary: from the effects of construction to the energy sources we use to heat and cool our homes.

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  • Pandemic Crisis

    A Crisis in Itself: Student Homelessness and Food Insecurity

    Ohio's response to the coronavirus pandemic has required schools to shutter temporarily in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. These actions may save lives, but they pose significant challenges for students who rely on their schools for necessities.

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  • Fair Housing Legacy

    Dr. Martin Luther King's Fair Housing Legacy

    Every January, we celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but were you aware of his tremendous influence on the passage of the Fair Housing Act?

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  • Public Libraries

    Public Libraries: A Great Equalizer

    Lower income households often face barriers to accessing high quality amenities. What's one public institution that defies this logic? Libraries. Due to their rich programming and accessibility, libraries have become an integral part of housing initiatives across the country.

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  • Myth Debunked

    Myth Debunk'd: Who Lives in Affordable Housing?

    The current rental market in Ohio is challenging for many, particularly families with low-to-moderate incomes. Over the last decade, median rent across the state increased by 5%, which has led to about a quarter of Ohio families spending more than half their income on housing.

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  • Natural Disasters

    Natural Disasters: A Catalyst for Housing Instability

    Extreme weather events can intensify underlying economic stress and inequalities, as lower income households have higher barriers for finding shelter and/or repairing their home.

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  • Freedom's Path

    Trust Fund Gives Homeless Veterans a Place to Call Home

    Many Ohio veterans struggle to afford housing. In Ross County, 44% of veteran renter households were rent burdened between 2013 and 2017, higher than the state average (30%), according to data from the American Community Survey.

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  • Freedom Path

    Homes for the Brave: Veteran Housing in Ohio

    According to data from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), over 770,000 veterans are living in Ohio, and approximately nine percent of Ohioans are veterans. As housing prices rise across the state, how are veterans in Ohio coping with these costs?

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  • Property Managers

    Property Managers Face Challenges in Preparations for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

    In 2013, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is intended to support victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking, and to protect them from being denied housing or from losing their affordable housing.

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  • Addressing Addiction Through Housing

    How OHFA Is Addressing Addiction Through Housing

    Across the United States, cities and states are noticing increases in addiction and overdose rates. For example, Ohio has one of the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country. In 2016 alone, over 3,600 people died of opioid-related overdoses.

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  • Back to School

    Back to School, Back to Basics: How Affordable Housing Helps Children Thrive

    Children across the state of Ohio are heading back to school, but where are they laying their heads at night? The Ohio Department of Education found that over 20,000 public school students lacked stable housing at some point during the 2016-2017 school year.

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  • A Place to Belong

    A Place to Belong: How Intergenerational Housing Developments Benefit Residents of All Ages

    For Dorothy, Calvin and Marvin, living in a place that fit their needs and that they could truly call home was a blessing. After 11 years, they finally found a perfect place and community at Griot Village in Cleveland.

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  • Gimme Shelter

    Gimme Shelter: A New Take on Housing Affordability

    Is the rent too high? The question is a common one. How do housing experts answer it? Most scholars and public agencies, including OHFA, consider a renter household paying more than 30 percent of its income toward rent and utilities to be experiencing "housing cost burden."

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  • Do's and Don'ts of Purchasing a Home

    The Dos and Don'ts of Purchasing Your First Home

    Purchasing your first home can be a complicated and intimidating process with massive financial repercussions. By following the five dos and avoiding the five don'ts below, you can find the home of your dreams without a nightmarish homebuying process.

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The views and opinions portrayed in Stories of Home do not necessarily reflect the policies or position of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.