08:48 AM

Ohio State homeownership plan advances in Alliance for the American Dream competition

Project designed to help vulnerable first-time Ohio homeowners

The American dream – that everyone has the freedom and opportunity to achieve success – is a step closer to being realized in Ohio, after a team of Ohio State University faculty and community partners were selected to advance to the next round of the Alliance for the American Dream competition for funding.

The advancing project in Ohio State’s internal competition is “Power of Home – An Innovative Platform that Leverages the Purchase of a First Home to Increase Income and Build Wealth.”

Power of Home capitalizes on homeownership as an opportunity for social mobility, while mitigating the risks for households on the edge of the middle class. It targets low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers and guides them with tools and resources to help them achieve sustained economic security.

  • Through public, private and nonprofit partnerships, the project links financially fragile homeowners to revolving loan funds, decision-making tools, incentive programs and complimentary community resources.
  • Customized messaging and data integration provide ongoing support to help at-risk homeowners hold firmly to their American Dream.

The project grew out of a pilot study led by Stephanie Moulton, associate professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and Cäzilia Loibl, associate professor of consumer sciences in the College of Education and Human Ecology. Community partners include the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and Framework, LLC.

Ohio State is one of four public universities participating in The Alliance for the American Dream, a collaboration created by Schmidt Futures aimed at generating innovative ideas to increase economic opportunities for local families. Other partner universities are Arizona State and the universities of Utah and Wisconsin.

Recently, members of the alliance convened in Phoenix to present their projects – 12 teams from four states proposed ideas to raise net income of 10,000 middle-class families in their communities by 10 percent by 2020. A panel of experts from the public, private and nonprofit sectors selected one project from each school to advance in the competition.

Over the next five months the teams will receive feedback and resources to continue refining their proposals. They will work with Schmidt Futures staff and additional industry specialists as needed.

Teams of community members and Ohio State faculty have been developing their proposals since May 2018. Six proposals were narrowed to three in November. Those three were presented to the alliance in Arizona. The other Ohio State projects presented in Arizona included The Ohio Microfarm Project and The Prosperity Promise.

The Alliance for the American Dream serves to strengthen the alignment of Ohio State – a public land-grant, urban-engaged university, Columbus and the State of Ohio, a dynamic region working to ensure that all of its citizens will flourish.