Consultant to Study Local Affordable and Special Housing

Ross County Community Action and the Hope Partnership Project are seeking a consultant to study Chillicothe and Ross County’s inventory of affordable and special housing.

With a grant managed by Adena Health System, they want to know the population’s housing needs, housing gaps, inclusionary housing laws, the climate for expansions in targeted housing platforms - as well as recommendations to improve areas of need such as laws, zoning, programs, and processes.

The original news release:

Today, Ross County Community Action Commission in partnership with Hope Partnership Project and the HRSA RCORP Grant (managed by Adena Health System) announce the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking qualified consultants with experience in affordable and mixed-income housing assessments, housing demand and feasibility analyses, zoning, inclusionary housing ordinances, and recovery/mental health housing.

The goal is to conduct a city and county-wide study to examine the City of Chillicothe and Ross County’s current inventory of affordable housing, special (Recovery/Mental Health) housing, as well as the population’s current housing needs, housing gaps, inclusionary housing laws (if applicable), gain an understanding of the community’s climate for expansions in targeted housing platforms, recommendations to improve identified areas of need, such as laws, zoning, and programs and processes.

“We are experiencing a critical shortage of affordable housing options in our community,” said Julie Bolen, Executive Director of Ross County Community Action Commission. “We have seen a dramatic increase in homelessness and housing needs over the last several months. While we have been working hard to address these issues with short-term solutions, like temporary emergency shelter, we also need to look forward to more sustainable and permanent housing solutions.”

The RFP will be open for 28 days until Friday, December 18, 2020. The results and outcome of the assessment will help the City of Chillicothe and Ross County, along with various social services and economic development agencies determine strategies of positive community impact. The consultant team will perform a comprehensive, effective, and thorough assessment that leads to strategic recommendations in meeting the affordable housing need, along with recovery/mental health housing.

“Our community is suffering from the impact of COVID-19, with being able to afford their mortgage payments, rent, and utilities,” explained Audrey Barker, Hope Partnership Project Coordinator and HRSA RCORP Project Manager. “Overdoses and a mental house crisis are on the rise with limited resources. We can emergently work to manage things, but we cannot not make a long-term impact if we don’t have a full picture of the housing state of our community,”

In the 2019 community health needs assessment conducted by Partners for a Healthier Ross County, more than 25% of community survey respondents indicated they struggle to pay for housing and another 22% indicated they were either unable to maintain housing for less than a year or were currently homeless.

Kim Jones, with Adena Health System and co-chair of Partners for a Healthier Ross County added, “Based off of our community’s response, we know that housing is a burden to many. Not only is it a burden economically, but also to their mental and physical health. Having a deeper understanding of what affordability needs to look like in our community, as well as appropriate strategies will help us address it.”

The RFP will be posted on both the Ross County Community Action Commission’s and Hope Partnership Project’s websites on Friday, November 20, 2020 and questions regarding the RFP are due by Friday, November 27, 2020 to Audrey Barker at Responses to the questions will be posted on the Hope Partnership Project website as well at by Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

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