Policy & Advocacy
APA OHIO POLICY PLATFORM
As the only organization in Ohio that exists specifically “to promote good planning for the betterment of all Ohioans,” the American Planning Association Ohio Chapter (APA Ohio) believes that it is essential to clearly outline our professional position on key priority issues facing Ohio. This Policy Platform is intended to guide the Chapter’s lobbying efforts and inform positions taken by the Chapter on legislative issues. It is also meant to provide flexibility to address unanticipated issues that inevitably arise.
APA Ohio’s position on key issues facing our communities are listed below in three broad categories. These categories include:
ADVOCACY + POLICY ALERTS
APA Ohio Policy Memorandum
August 8 Special Election: Issue 1
This policy memorandum is a call to attention regarding the August 8 Special Election and call to action for all Ohio voters to participate. The APA Ohio Board of Trustees considers the following information vital to our membership and planning practice in the state of Ohio.
On August 8th, a joint resolution (SJR2) is on the ballot to amend the Ohio Constitution to raise the threshold of votes required to approve any future constitutional amendment from a simple majority (50% plus one) to a supermajority (at least 60%) of the electors. If passed, it would also expand the requirements for initiating proposed amendments via petition by requiring signatures from every county in the state, where currently signatures from only half the counties in the state are required.
The amendment proposes to limit the power of citizen engagement in Ohio legislation. The proposed resolution, if passed, will decrease citizen power to enact change in Ohio legislation. Citizen engagement is paramount to the democratic process and a top Planning Principle within the APA Ohio Policy Platform.
The amendment would limit bond-financing feasibility for future statewide initiatives. The Ohio Constitution contains a debt limit of $750,000 (set in 1851). Because of this constraint, the legislature seeks funding support from the voters in the form of bonds issued as constitutional amendments. This funding strategy has enabled a vast array of statewide initiatives including brownfield remediation and environmental conservation funding, veterans’ compensation, statewide infrastructure projects, and home loan and rental assistance programs. Statewide funding programs such as these increase the quality of life of Ohio citizens and advance key positions of the APA Ohio Policy Platform on housing, sustainability, infrastructure planning, and more.
Voter turnout for special elections is a challenge. The APA Ohio Board of Trustees encourages all Ohio planning practitioners to consider whether the approval of this legislation (SJR2) serves the public interest, and to please vote in the upcoming August 8th, 2023 Ohio Special Election.
Congress approves $1.7 trillion spending bill
This spending bill will fund the government through fiscal 2023, which ends on September 30, 2023. This bill includes a total of $58.2 billion for HUD, an increase of $4.5 billion above fiscal year 2022.
The HUD spending includes:
- $85 million for a new "Yes In My Backyard" (YIMBY) grant program will incentivize affordable housing production. The new competitive YIMBY grant program will reward state, local and regional jurisdictions that have made progress in improving inclusionary zoning practices, land use policies and housing infrastructure that will ultimately increase the supply of affordable housing.
- $30.3 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance to continue to serve more than 2.3 million very low- and extremely low-income households nationwide. This level of funding also includes $50 million to expand housing assistance to nearly 12,000 low-income families.
- $14.9 billion for Project-based Rental Assistance to continue to house more than 1.2 million very low- and low-income households nationwide, an increase of $967 million above fiscal year 2022.
- $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which will lead to the construction of thousands of new rental and home buyer units and sustain the record level of investment from fiscal year 2022.
- $12.3 billion for Community Planning and Development, an increase of $2.3 billion above fiscal year 2022, including $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants.
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