Spectrum News 1 Ohio recently profiled the Entrepreneurial Housing project and Betterhood’s efforts on the Near East Side in an interview with Betterhood founder Jonathan Barnes, FAIA.
The piece is excerpted below. A video with footage from Jonathan’s office, the recent Columbus Urban League Young Professionals meeting, and a trip to the potential project site accompanies the article. The entire article and video can be found on Spectrum News 1 Ohio’s website.
From the article:
A non-profit looks to improve some of Columbus’ distressed neighborhoods and appears to be making progress with a unique idea that could be part of the solution to some of the city’s challenges with housing and jobs.
- Homes owned and managed by residents who will reinvest revenue generated into the community
- Homeowner costs offset by a tax abatement
- If approved, housing could go up by the end of the year
Architect and founder Jonathan Barnes, of the non-profit Betterhood, sketches out renderings for one of his latest projects. The organization focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods. With such a high demand for housing and jobs, he hopes to address part of that problem through entrepreneurial housing. It’s a concept that’s new to the City of Columbus.
He said the idea came about after noticing landlords neglecting properties in the economically-challenged neighborhoods in which they rent.
“We thought, well rather than police the landlords, why don’t we make new landlords from the residents that are already there so they have a vested interest in their neighborhood,” said Barnes.
Taking a look at proposed multi-story, row house renderings, resident owners would live on the first floor with tenants above.
Barnes said they want to help create thriving communities by encouraging landlords to invest the money generated from their homes back into the neighborhoods in which they live. Barnes believes this not only addresses the housing demand, but brings dollars to the community and jobs for people, as they learn how to be landlords.
“They get to own and they get to operate and manage these properties and they get the financial benefit short term and long term,” Barnes said.