In 2003, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) began the Community Properties of Ohio Initiative (CPO Initiative) by acquiring a large, scattered-site Section 8 housing portfolio in Columbus, OH that struggled historically with poor maintenance, high crime, severe poverty, and limited social and financial resources. In cooperation with university and other community partners, OCCH facilitated a $133 million rehabilitation and created a mission-driven property management company, Community Properties of Ohio Management Services (CPOMS) to transform this portfolio for the benefit of the community.
Community Properties Impact Corporation (CPO Impact) is a nonprofit organization that functions as the supportive services division of CPOMS. The CPO Initiative includes more than 900 units in almost 200 buildings in six urban Columbus neighborhoods. Leaseholders are predominantly young, single, African-American women with children. In a given year, more than 900 children less than six years old and 400 youth ages 6-17 live in CPO Initiative units. About one-third of leaseholders have less than a high school diploma or GED. Fewer than half have any income from employment.
CPO Impact strategies are designed to achieve five key objectives: 1) stable housing; 2) safe neighborhoods; 3) resident growth, including moving beyond poverty where possible; 4) successful children; and 5) community learning. General strategies to achieve these objectives include outreach and engagement activities; stabilization of physical and mental needs; and more intensive programs for residents or their children to achieve education, employment, school readiness, or school success. Services are provided directly when necessary or through linkages to services in the community.
In 2015, the CPO Initiative was honored with the Visionary Housing Award by the National Housing Conference in Washington, D.C. and received the NAHMA Communities of Quality recognition for all of its properties.
CPO Impact was established to provide quality affordable housing and linkages to stabilize residents in their housing. Many residents desire opportunities to move beyond poverty, yet most drastically lack the resources needed to make this possible. Effective property management isn't enough to actuate transformational change. As a result, CPO Impact secures adequate resources, funds, and partnerships to achieve success in moving residents beyond poverty. Meaningful relationships with residents provide insights into their goals, barriers, and needed resources. These insights allow us to develop effective strategies, identify resources, and collaborate with community partners. In 2013, CPO celebrated its 10th anniversary. We remain focused on continuous improvement and greater impact. We continue to evaluate initiatives and implement innovative strategies to positively affect core objectives and promote resident growth.