Note: This story appears in the Friday, Oct. 11 newspaper on Page A3.
More changes intended on improving Athens’ city housing code were approved this week by City Council.
Council members hope the plan will pave the way for more affordable housing in town. It is mainly directed at prospective homeowners and not renters.
Overall, three main ideas are included in the plan: establishing a housing and redevelopment department; maintaining an advisory board for housing; and supporting public and private partnerships that could aid in the creation of more affordable housing.
According to the plan, affordable housing is defined as properties ranging from $125,000-250,000. Council Member Sarah Grace, who introduced the ordinance, noted that this price point was determined through research. Grace noted that affordable housing is separate from low-income housing, and should not be confused as the latter falls under different purview of housing law.
Several Council members applauded the measure, including Kent Butler, who said he hoped the plan would accommodate young professionals seeking to call Athens home, as well as potential Ohio University faculty. Chris Fahl said more work is yet to be done, like meeting with potential partners and discussing priorities, but that this is a good first step.