Affordable Housing Alliance launches Resiliency Bridge pilot program

The new program will provide 'housing assistance, wrap-around supports, and workforce education' for 60 low-income families

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Advocates for low-wage workers demonstrated at City Hall in downtown Columbus on Thursday, May 28, 2020, calling for more affordable housing.

Last month, in a story exploring the relationship between the labor shortage and the lack of affordable housing in Central OhioAlive gave readers a sneak preview of a pilot program called Resiliency Bridge, which Bruce Luecke, president and CEO of local nonprofit developer Homeport, described as a workforce training program that builds on the positive results of Success Bridge, a partnership with Columbus State Community College.

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Success Bridge, a three-year collaboration among Columbus State, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO), the Community Shelter Board and the Homeless Families Foundation, helped low-income Columbus State students with housing costs. 

Today, AHACO released more details about Resiliency Bridge, an 18-month pilot program that will provide 60 families in low- and extremely low-income households with "housing assistance, wrap-around supports, and workforce education." At the conclusion of the program, participants are expected to "grow their income by at least 75 percent." 

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Like Success Bridge, Resiliency Bridge is a public-private partnership, with funding from JPMorgan Chase, CMHA and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. Other partners include the Homeless Families Foundation, Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, Community Shelter Board, the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, Columbus State, ColumbusWorks, the Columbus Partnership, Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio, Homeport, Impact Community Action, AHACO and Action for Children.

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m., the Affordable Housing Alliance will discuss the Resiliency Bridge program in more detail during a webinar, Work & Home: How Affordable Housing Leads the Way for Economic Growth.

As previously reported by Alive, a recent study from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that in Columbus, the average renter makes $16.99/hour. But in order to afford the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment without paying more than 30% of their income on housing, Columbus workers need to make $19.83/hour. Out of the top 10 jobs in Columbus listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only one occupation (registered nurse pays more than $19.83/hour.