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Ohio Legislature Releases Final Budget, State Trust Fund Remains As-Is

A message from the Home Matters to Ohio Coalition:

Dear Home Matters to Ohio Supporter,

The final budget bill released today does not include our proposal to expand the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. While this is disappointing, we are encouraged by the fact that we came quite close to securing a major funding increase for homelessness and affordable housing in an extremely tight budget cycle. Two years ago we were fighting off major budget cuts; this time we were in a proactive posture to make real gains. Furthermore, the Home Matters to Ohio campaign created a new focus on homelessness and housing issues and increased legislators’ support for the Housing Trust Fund as a critical part of the solution.

The problem we were up against was the Senate’s opposition to any kind of fee increases. Support to strengthen the Housing Trust Fund remained strong among legislators in both chambers throughout the budget process. Your recent calls and emails asking legislators to restore the proposal helped build support among rank and file members. Unfortunately, however, key Senate leaders remained opposed to fee increases, regardless of the need for new revenue to address serious problems, like Ohio’s growing affordable housing crisis or the opiate epidemic.

We were amazed how many of you picked up the phone to urge your members to support the Housing Trust Fund, and we thank you for your strong advocacy. We will also be thanking our legislative champions, like Representatives Ryan Smith and Kirk Schuring, who pushed hard to strengthen the Housing Trust Fund.

While this budget cycle has ended, the fight to end homelessness and expand affordable housing in Ohio continues.

With great appreciation for all of your support,

The Home Matters to Ohio Coalition