Senate Select Committee on Housing
Earlier this year, the Ohio Senate created a new select committee focused on solving the housing shortage in Ohio. The senators assigned to the Senate Select Committee on Housing are Senator Michele Reynolds (Chair), Senator Terry Johnson (Vice Chair), Senator Bill Blessing, Senator Andrew Brenner, and Senator Hearcel Craig. The committee’s purpose is to make recommendations to the legislature to solve the housing shortage, potentially resulting in legislative changes for political subdivisions to help the state achieve development goals.
At this time, the committee has held five hearings. Topics discussed before the committee include a statewide zoning plan or zoning implementation in areas where there currently is none. These changes would significantly impact townships, whether they now have zoning or not.
On September 26, OTA Executive Director Heidi M. Fought testified before the committee opposing the idea that statewide zoning is the best solution for the housing crisis. She identified housing barriers such as the drastic increases in home affordability, inflation, and outdated building codes. She shared was the efforts made by the OTA to encourage development such as financial aid for communities to update comprehensive land use plans, a request to alter the way water and sewer services are provided to Ohioans, and additional economic development tools be given to townships. View this testimony below.
The committee plans to hold three more traveling hearings before giving out recommendations. We want to ensure townships have a voice in this process moving forward. As the committee is still waiting to announce its next hearings, please consider making your voice heard. If you are interested in testifying or submitting testimony on behalf of your township, please contact Kyle Brooks at 614-863-0045 for more information.
See links below for more information on the Ohio Legislature's website, such as proponent and opponent testimonies, a summary of the bill, and more.
Watch the OTA's opponent testimony from the September 26, 2023, Senate Select Committee hearing on Housing below. If the video does not load, click here to view the video on the Ohio Channel.