Community Development

The staff of VSI have worked on several Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) projects throughout Ohio. The program was established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from home foreclosures and abandonment. The following are descriptions of the projects.

Columbus, Ohio NSP Strategy

In February 2009, staffs of VSI, Community Research Partners and Arch City Development were awarded a contract by the city of Columbus to provide recommendations and strategies for the $22,845,495 allocation of funds received through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) as authorized by Title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The city provided boundaries of areas with high instances of foreclosures and abandoned properties; from those boundaries, 26 submarkets were developed and analyzed. The report provided city officials with a specific set of recommendations that coincided with one of several neighborhood typologies created for the analysis.

A comprehensive economic and demographic analysis using a state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) was performed in all 26 NSP submarkets. This analysis contained both quantitative and qualitative data concerning economic and housing conditions, neighborhood amenities and current and proposed development; it was complemented by extensive field analysis and visual inspections. Four distinct typologies were created to define the state of these areas: At-Risk, Destabilizing, Distressed or Potential Recovery, and each submarket or neighborhood was identified within one of these categories. Specific strategies were formulated by typology and by submarket, with a phased implementation schedule.

The city's policy regarding the expenditure of these funds relies heavily upon the recommendations from this study.

Cincinnati, Ohio NSP2 Project Evaluation

The staff of VSI completed analyses for seven properties in the Cincinnati area for The Model Group and the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority. Each study was initiated in response to a Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The studies evaluated development and/or redevelopment of rental and for-sale communities within several neighborhoods. Specifically, the studies addressed the investment gap needed between the cost of development for the apartments or homes and the price consumers would be willing to pay in those neighborhoods.

The market studies completed for these projects helped the Hamilton County Consortium, which included Hamilton County Community Development Department, the city of Cincinnati Department of Community Development, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority and The Model Group, to allocate their $24,068,968 NSP2 award.

Franklin County NSP2 Strategy

The staff of VSI has completed a market study for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) areas identified within Franklin County, Ohio. This study was initiated by Franklin County in response to a Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The intent of the study was to assist Franklin County with deciding where and how NSP2 funds should be spent within these geographic areas.

This analysis was performed on the initial list of Census Tract geographies provided to the consultants by the county. Areas within these Tracts that had an overwhelming preponderance of non-housing land uses were eliminated. Once the NSP2 boundaries had been refined, the geography was divided into nine separate submarkets. A comprehensive economic and demographic analysis using state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) was performed in all nine NSP2 submarkets. This analysis contained both quantitative and qualitative data about economic and housing conditions, neighborhood amenities and both current and proposed development; the analysis was complemented by field and visual inspections. Each of the nine submarkets was categorized utilizing the four distinct typologies created to define the state of communities in the city of Columbus. Each submarket was fit into one of these categories: At-risk, Destabilizing, Distressed or Potential Recovery.

A rental demand analysis was performed for each of the nine submarkets. Demand varied greatly across geographies with some neighborhoods oversaturated with rental housing and others containing a demand for hundreds of units. The county's strategy regarding the expenditure of the NSP2 funds relied heavily upon recommendations from the market study.