Leaders of the Columbus Housing Enterprise (CHE) and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing
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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Contact: Mike Nowlin

Cell: 989-450-0855

Columbus Housing Enterprise, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

announce $21.6 million acquisition of Cabot Cove Apartments

Nonprofit’s 75-year deal with CMHA ensures 288-unit development in Hilliard will remain affordable for lower-wage earning households

Columbus, OH – Leaders of the Columbus Housing Enterprise (CHE) and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) announced today they have acquired Cabot Cove Apartments, a 288-unit multi-family affordable housing development located in Hilliard, for $21.6 million.

Columbus Housing Enterprise is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving affordable housing in central Ohio through the philanthropic commitment of leaders in the private sector.

The Cabot Cove transaction, CHE’s second project with CMHA, was conceived by local business and civic leaders Don Kelley and Robert Weiler, along with their families, and will ensure the apartment complex will remain affordable for lower-wage earning families, senior citizens and people with disabilities for the next 75 years.

“This acquisition is another step forward in our game-changing strategy to combine the generosity of two successful and community-minded families with a new nonprofit acting as a steward for the preservation of quality existing unsubsidized affordable housing,” said CHE Board Chair Hal Keller.

“We credit CMHA’s leadership and vision for working with us because rents at Cabot Cove would continue to soar as they are across central Ohio without this agreement,” Keller said. “We also believe this model can be replicated as other multifamily property owners follow the lead of the Weiler and Kelley families.”

The CHE board is comprised of representatives from many of the foremost affordable housing and community development organizations in central Ohio, including:

  • Hal Keller, President Emeritus, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
  • Patty McClimon, Senior Vice President, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Leah Evans, President and CEO, Homeport
  • Jordan Henderson, Director of Multifamily & Special Projects, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Robert Bitzenhofer, Vice President, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Margaret Kelley, Member, The Kelley Companies
  • Dr. Jim Weiler, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Robert Weiler Company
  • John Wymer, retired CEO, Oakwood Properties

Built in 1990, the 24-acre Cabot Cove Apartments site is ideally situated on Hilliard-Rome Road, west of I-270, in the desirable Hilliard City School District, providing convenient access to shopping, dining, financial, education and healthcare services.

“The preservation of existing safe, quality and affordable multi-family housing developments is critical to improving housing opportunities for all in central Ohio,” said the Rev. John Edgar, who serves as president of CHE.

“Building new affordable units is important,” Edgar said. “At the same time, our community also must ensure existing housing complexes remain affordable for the long term. The Weiler and Kelley families are raising awareness and charting a viable course of action to achieve this goal.”

The Kelley and Weiler families sold Cabot Cove Apartments at a deep discount to CMHA, which then immediately provided a 75-year lease to CHE to control and operate the apartment complex.

The Cabot Cove property has an appraised value of over $43 million and was sold for less than half that amount. Financing for the acquisition was provided by Lument, a national leader in lending for affordable housing. The discounted sale price to CMHA and favorable financing terms ensure rents will remain affordable to households earning less than 80% of the average median income.

“The demand for affordable housing units is at an all-time high and obviously far exceeds the number of units being built or preserved as affordable in Franklin County and throughout Ohio,” said CMHA President and CEO Charles Hillman.

“Our exciting partnership with CHE on the Cabot Cove property represents one of many strategies that we need to make up that gap to make sure every resident of Franklin County has high quality, safe and affordable housing options available to them,” Hillman said.

Data from the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO) show only 29 affordable housing units are available for every 100 extremely low-income households in the Columbus and Franklin County area. AHACO estimates 54,000 low- and moderate-income households in Franklin County pay more than half their income towards housing costs. Central Ohio also faces a deficit of 11,000 to 14,000 new housing units every year to support a healthy housing market.

CMHA has acquired over 1,300 multifamily units over the past five years to preserve affordability throughout Franklin County. Cabot Cove is another example of CMHA executing on its strategy, partnering with Columbus Housing Enterprise.

“Rising home prices and rents make finding affordable housing an increasingly difficult challenge, often forcing people to live in substandard housing where they can suffer health problems, struggle academically and experience financial problems,” said Bitzenhofer.

“CMHA’s collaboration with CHE is a tremendous step forward to helping provide peace of mind to our residents that they can continue to call Cabot Cove their home now and in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Beyond acquiring and preserving affordable multi-family homes, CHE and CMHA will provide resident services and community building activities. Cabot Cove residents will have access to and be encouraged to utilize the services offered through CMHA’s Resident Initiatives for Success & Empowerment (RISE) Center.

CMHA opened The RISE Center in fall of 2021 near its Linden headquarters, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has designated the site as an EnVision center. It is the first of its kind for Columbus and one of only six federally approved EnVision centers in Ohio. The RISE Center is a one-stop social services center that connects residents to community resources that promote housing stability and help residents identify, pursue, and achieve their goals.

Examples of services provided at The RISE Center include helping Franklin County residents:

  • Apply for emergency rental and utility assistance
  • Sign up for benefits such as unemployment and food assistance
  • Manage their health and well-being, including securing health insurance and establishing a primary care provider
  • Find employment, childcare, and educational opportunities
  • Establish internet service and improve their digital skills
  • Create a budget, start saving, and improve their credit score
  • Prepare for homeownership

About Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

CMHA helps people access affordable housing through collaborative partnerships, promotes neighborhood revitalization, and assists residents in accessing needed social services. CMHA owns over 5,000 units of affordable housing and through its Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Rental Assistance programs, provides rental assistance to over 160,000 Ohio and Washington, D.C., residents. Learn more at cmhanet.com.

About Community Housing Enterprise (CHE):

CHE is a nonprofit created to acquire and maintain "Naturally-Occurring Affordable Housing" (NOAH) in central Ohio. NOAH refers to rental homes that are affordable without requiring federal subsidy. The initiative was conceived by local business and community leaders Don Kelley and Robert Weiler, along with their families. Learn more at cheforgood.org.


Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
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1223 Turner Road, Suite 101, Lansing, MI, 48906
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For all inquiries, please contact us at: nowlin@gudmarketing.com

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