New apartments under construction at E. Town Street and S. Washington Avenue near Topiary Park. Topiary Park Crossing will feature 98 units that will be rented to qualifying residents based on area median income.

Housing advocates said new affordable housing initiatives in the state’s biennial budget are vital to address the growing need for housing that is becoming too expensive for many.

“It’s a great start to move Ohio forward, a tool to create 4,000 units over the next four years,” said Amy Riegel, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

The budget the Ohio General Assembly approved on June 30 include measures that the Senate planned to strip out. That includes $100 million for a state tax credit program to help finance those 4,000 rental units, and also tax credits for single-family housing.

Riegel said businesses across the state recognize the need to build more affordable housing for workers as major projects get built. Think Intel’s $20 billion investment for two plants in New Albany expected to employ 3,000, and the new $3.5 billion battery plant Honda and LE Energy Solution are building in Fayette County southwest of Columbus that is expected to need 2,200 workers.

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