OHFA Examines the Impact of Ohio's Shale Oil Industry on Affordable Housing
[New Release from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency]
June 28, 2013
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Housing Finance Agency's (OHFA) Office of Affordable Housing Research and Strategic Planning released a series of reports commissioned to examine housing markets in the regions of Ohio impacted by shale oil development. This research was a collaborative effort between OHFA and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) and conducted by The Ohio State University (OSU), Ohio University (OU), Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), and Vogt Santer Insights (VSI).
"There is a great deal of interest in Ohio's shale oil industry and its effects on Ohio's economy," said OHFA executive director Doug Garver. "As the first research effort of this kind in the state, each report provides valuable information for policymakers to address housing needs, but also raises additional questions and the necessity to monitor housing markets in Eastern Ohio."
"Partnering with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency on this study provided us with additional data on the housing needs in the region," said David Goodman, director of ODSA. "This allows us to develop strategies to meet the needs of Ohioans and prepare for future business investment."
OU's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, examined the ongoing impacts of shale development on rental housing availability and cost, along with its impacts on homelessness. The data collection gathered information on the early impacts of horizontal shale development and the availability and affordability of rental housing in multiple counties impacted by shale oil development. The data collection is intended to assist OHFA in selecting Ohio communities to monitor long-term.
OU's researchers studied Carroll County where the demand for affordable housing has significantly risen as a result of recent drilling activity and an increased number of drilling permits. The influx of workers, limited availability of affordable housing in the county for residents, and housing per diems provided to temporary workers have enabled rental market prices to climb and other factors have led to a strain on the existing housing infrastructure.
Most shale workers have been able to obtain housing in single home rental units, local hotels, campgrounds or other temporary options. A shortage of rental homes has left moderate- and low-income residents with limited housing options. The barriers to address these housing needs are predominantly centered on high levels of uncertainty regarding the trajectory of shale development. The findings suggest that modest increases in the development of hotels, and low-income housing may be warranted; however, it is imperative to continue monitoring housing availability and affordability to ensure the markets can appropriately respond to housing needs as they evolve.
"As this industry expands in eastern Ohio, we anticipate that additional housing shortages will take place throughout the region, with smaller communities being affected the most," said Robin Stewart, project manager at OU's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. "Additional analysis will help develop a regional strategy that ensures affordable housing options remain available for the area's most vulnerable citizens."
Conducted by OSU's Department of Agricultural, Environment and Development Economics, faculty examined the effects of the Marcellus shale gas boom on local housing market trends. This analysis compared factors including rents, housing list and sale prices, in Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Western New York. The findings will be used to assess the possible impacts of Ohio's shale oil development based on low, medium and high-drilling scenarios.
"The good news is that most places with shale energy development are able to address housing needs for the middle class without too much disruption, though there appears to be some issues for some lower income households as the boom begins," said Mark Partridge, swank chair in Rural-Urban Policy and professor at OSU's Department of Agricultural, Environment and Development Economics.
"This work will serve as a benchmark for further study of housing insecurity as the gas and oil industry grows, and will help us develop effective policy solutions to address the housing needs of impacted populations," said Bill Faith, executive director of COHHIO.
This research effort resulted in four distinct reports. Read each of the reports online at http://www.ohiohome.org/research/multifamily.aspx.
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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio. For the complete news release and additional OHFA news visit their website at: http://www.ohiohome.org/news.aspx