A comprehensive study to address Oberlin’s future housing needs is close to beginning.
“The bottom line is does Oberlin have and/or is it developing adequate housing of all types to satisfy the needs of its residents now as well as in the future?” said the city’s request for a “comprehensive community housing study and needs analysis.”
“If not, what housing is needed and what programs should/could the community develop to facilitate said housing?”
Carrie Handy, Oberlin planning and development director, said Wednesday that 12 entities responded to the request and the list was then narrowed to five. The five finalists are:
• Mumford, N.Y.-based Asterhill Community Planning & Development, which bid $14,500.
• Cleveland State University, which made a base bid of $20,895.
• Silver Springs, Md.-based Creative Consultants, which bid $15,000.
• Westlake-based Lenz Planning/Vogt Strategic Insights, which bid $18,000.
• Cleveland-based Novogradac & Co., which bid $15,000.
Handy said a final selection has been made, but wouldn’t say who was chosen until a contract is signed. She said the signing is expected by mid-March and the study is to be completed by the end of the summer.
Oberlin had 2,984 housing units in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The home ownership rate between 2009 and 2013 was nearly 60 percent and the median value of owner-occupied units was $139,700.
Handy said she hopes the study will provide future direction for Oberlin officials including how much multi-family housing is needed and where it should be located.
Other challenges to address are accommodating aging baby boomers and millennials. “It’s very valuable data to have when you’re looking at future land use,” Handy said.
The study was proposed in May by then-city manager Eric Norenberg after city council members indefinitely tabled converting the former Green Acres orphanage into low and medium-income housing.
No decision has been made on what to do with the property.
Built in 1898, Green Acres closed in 1995. The approximately 15-acre site was purchased by Oberlin from the county in 2011 for $265,000, according to Sal Talarico, finance director and acting city manager.
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.