The Center for Community Planning and Development was engaged by the City of Oberlin, Ohio to develop a comprehensive housing needs assessment. A fact-finding study with recommendations, it is intended to support future policy discussion and visioning as part of the City’s planned comprehensive plan process in the coming year. This study was completed with input and guidance from the City and a Housing Study Steering Committee of community stakeholders, a Community Open House, and interviews with residents, workers, business owners, and community leaders. Data analysis demonstrated a need for additional housing for low-income families, starter housing for younger households, and housing for seniors of all incomes. Housing rehabilitation was identified as a substantial immediate priority, to be supported by the expansion of nonprofit capacity, either at the city or regional/county level. Community input described the Oberlin housing market as focused on the “Oberlin lifestyle”, as a college community providing walkability, convenience, small town community, historic character, and high-level arts and culture. To that end, recommendations were made regarding future development design, neighborhood connectivity, community branding, and community visioning and land use decisions to support enhancement of the Oberlin lifestyle.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charlie_post/45/