Homes on the Hill Community Development Corporation
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3659 Soldano Blvd
Columbus, OH 43228
Mr. Stephen V. Torsell  
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CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Stephen V. Torsell
Executive Director
Board Chair
Ms. Jerolyn D. Barbee
Ohio Historical Society

Strengthen neighborhoods by providing quality affordable housing, advocacy, education, and supportive services for individuals and families of primarily low and moderate incomes. 

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We partnered with Rebuilding Together Central Ohio for "Building a Healthy Neighborhood," a weeklong event that repaired 17 homes and landscaped additional homes.

  • We partnered with the City of Columbus to implement the Hilltop Home Repair program, which provided homeowners with grants up to $20,000 to complete much needed repairs to the exterior and interior of their homes.

  • We launched the Landlord Engagement Action Network (LEAN), which is a network of landlords, tenants, and neighbors working together to improve the rental community through education, connection, and resolution.

  • We provided pre-purchase counseling and education to nearly 200 potential homebuyers, 41 of whom bought homes. Additionally, we educated and counseled over 250 clients who were experiencing, or at risk of, foreclosure.

  • We completed rehabilitation on five homes and sold eight homes.


  • We will counsel and educate at least 300 pre-purchase clients, with 40 buying homes as a result. We will assist 100 clients through foreclosure prevention counseling.

  • We will acquire six properties, complete rehabilitation on six properties, and sell eight properties. 

  • We will re-purpose demolished parcels and bring distressed housing stock back into the rental market.

  • We will Launch MoneyStrong, a financial capability program to increase financial stability of community residents.

  • We will continue to expand the Landlord Engagement Action Network by serving 50 households in education seminars and refer 50 households to legal and mediation services. 

Background Statement

Homes on the Hill CDC (HOTH) has been building the foundation for economically stable families since 1992. HOTH believes in serving and strengthening communities. Our mission is to strengthen neighborhoods by providing quality affordable housing, advocacy, education, and supportive services to primarily low- and moderate income individuals and families.

To provide more affordable housing options, HOTH rehabilitates vacant and foreclosed properties in Columbus' west side and sells or rents them to low- and moderate income buyers or renters. HOTH has developed or co-developed over 180 units of single family housing and has brought in over $22.3 million worth of housing investments into the westside community. HOTH has co-developed 105 units of multi-family rental housing. Our housing education and counseling program was established in 1998 to help families achieve and maintain financial well-being, and became a housing counseling agency approved through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2000. Our program has four branches, which include an eight-hour HUD approved homebuyer education class, individual credit and budget counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and rental counseling. HOTH began to offer our housing counseling services in Spanish in 2002, and since then we have assisted over 1,200 Hispanic families. We are a member of the Home Ownership Network of the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic advocacy organization. In 2004, HOTH added foreclosure prevention counseling, and today, over 2,000 families are still in their homes due to our efforts. HOTH also leads several community projects, which include a needs assessment for Columbus' westside, education seminars for landlords and tenants, and a planning project for vacant lot reuse. In 2012, we were named CDC of the year by the Ohio CDC Association, and in 2013, were awarded the Spirit of Homeownership Excellence Award by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

Statement from Mr. Stephen V. Torsell, Executive Director

HOTH has a record of innovation and service to the greater west side neighborhoods of Columbus and Franklin County. We developed the first Columbus CDC-based home ownership program combining scattered-site rehabilitation and sales of properties with homebuyer education and credit counseling in English and Spanish. Additionally, we established the first foreclosure prevention counseling service before the crisis was recognized by others and created the first home ownership partnership with Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio. We have accomplished much with a small, yet passionate staff. Although we have experienced much success during our tenure, we are always looking ahead to continue bringing positive change to our community.

Statement from Ms. Jerolyn D. Barbee , Ohio Historical Society

I am honored to serve as the president of the board. Since 1992, HOTH has taken an active role in not only spearheading the development of affordable housing in the Hilltop, but also standing with residents and our partner organizations to advocate for the resources needed to improve the quality of life on the Hilltop.

HOTH is in the forefront of ensuring the dream of home ownership is within the reach of middle class families. We have not only rehabilitated homes in the Hilltop, but have made sure that quality rental housing is available, providing affordable housing options in western Franklin County. Finally, we have provided housing counseling services to families who want to become homeowners--as well as homeowners facing foreclosure--offering options to remain in their homes. All of this has been accomplished through the hard work of our small, but dedicated staff.



Mr. Stephen V. Torsell, 
Term Start 3/1997 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Stephen Torsell, executive director, has an extensive background in community development work, including skills in administration, construction management, home ownership education, organizational development, and community outreach. Mr. Torsell has additional experience in private sector employment, including marketing and communications skills with broadcast, cable, and media communications firms. His volunteer achievements include work with the homeless, the disabled, and prison populations. Mr. Torsell has a BA and MA from The Ohio State University. He is president of the board of the Ohio CDC Association and is chair of the community advisory committee for South-Western City Schools.

Mr. Daniel Ruggiero, 
Biographical Statement

Daniel Ruggiero has 12 years of experience in mortgage lending, education, and community development. He holds a BA from Davidson College and a MA from The Ohio State University. Mr. Ruggiero was instrumental in creating Homes on the Hill’s Spanish language homebuyer education program in 2002. He returned to Homes on the Hill in 2013 after teaching business Spanish and Latin American business culture courses at The Ohio State University and spending eight years in community lending at Huntington National Bank.

Ms. Melonie L. Buller CPA, 
Biographical Statement

Melonie L. Buller, CPA, is the financial manager for Homes on the Hill CDC. Ms. Buller is responsible for financial reporting and accounting, and the administrative activities for the housing development program. In 2009, she completed the National Development Council's certification program to become a housing development finance professional. Previously, she worked as a consultant specializing in improving nonprofit internal controls and financial reporting. She was the audit chief for the Ohio Department of Development from 1985-92 and, prior, managed the short-term bond portfolio and the cash position for a local savings and loan. She began her career in the audit department of KPMG, LLC. Ms. Buller earned her BS in accounting from the University of Kansas and took graduate-level courses in international finance from New York University. She currently serves on the board and finance committee of The Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff:
Number of Part-Time Staff:
Number of Volunteers: 15 
Staff Retention Rate: 100% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan Yes
Management Succession/Training Plan Yes
Organization Policies and Procedures No
Strategic Plan Yes
Years Plan Considers 2
Current Plan Adopted 1/2015
Additional Organization Information

Affordable Housing Trust; City of Columbus; HomePort, Finance Fund; Community Development Collaborative of Greater Columbus; Franklin County; Ohio Housing Finance Agency; Buckeye Community Hope Foundation; Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio; Key Bank; The Huntington National Bank; Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing; National Council of La Raza; Enterprise Community Partners; The Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone; Weston Vision; area foundations, banks, realtors, and lenders.

Government Licenses Housing/Development
National Accreditations United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Housing Counseling Agency Certification


Local Governing Board
Board Chair Ms. Jerolyn D. Barbee,
Board Chair Term 10/2012 -  10/2015  
Board Members
Mr. Joel Barden,  
Ms. Carolyn Bradley,  
Mr. Brian Carnahan,  
Mr. Michael D. Cole,  
Mr. Mark Diemer,  
Mr. Benito Lucio,  
Mr. Jesus Ovalle,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 68% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 50%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 0%
Gender Female 25%
  Male 75%
Race African-American/Black 38%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 38%
  Hispanic/Latino 25%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Community Outreach and Development

HOTH works to strengthen the core neighborhoods in south-western Franklin County by supporting community groups and by collaborating to improve business opportunities. We serve as the fiscal agent for various neighborhood projects and community gardens; sponsor Hilltop’s National Night Out, an event designed to promote neighborhood safety; partner with for-profit companies to hold community meetings and gather demographic information regarding housing occupancy and ownership structure; and partner with the City of Columbus to provide home repair grants to homeowners. HOTH is implementing a green overlay on vacant lots in the Hilltop, experimenting with low-grow grass and other environmentally friendly, best next-uses on the lots. HOTH initiated the Landlord Engagement Action Network (LEAN) to connect and inform the westside rental community.

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Affordable Housing Development

Since 1992, HOTH has developed or co-developed over 280 housing units on the west side for sale or rent to low- and moderate income families. Our target neighborhoods are the 43223, 43228, 43204, 43119, and 43123 Zip Codes. Almost all of our homes are rehabilitated based on the AWARE standards, which include green and handicap accessibility features. Rebuilding Together Central Ohio partnered with HOTH in 2013 and 2014 for their Building a Healthy Neighborhood Week, where critical repairs to 45 homes were made in target neighborhoods. In 2013 and 2014, HOTH collaborated with the City of Columbus to implement the Hilltop Homes Repair Program, which allocated over $1.5 million to home owners in need of home repair grants. In 2012, HOTH completed Hilltop Homes I in partnership with Buckeye Community Hope Foundation. This project has been so successful that we are collaborating with Homeport to complete Hilltop Homes II, a 39-unit scattered-site new-build project using vacant lots.

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Housing Counseling & Education

A home is the largest purchase most families will make. Through our housing counseling and education, we aim to empower households with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed financial housing decisions, whether as a home owner or a renter. Our program includes four branches: an eight-hour HUD-approved homebuyer education class, credit and budget counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and rental counseling. All programs are delivered in English and Spanish. HOTH counselors have met training and certification guidelines for the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling, and we also have staff that maintains a Financial Capability Certification through NeighborWorks America.


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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015
Projected Revenue $512,436
Projected Expense $531,159
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Direct Support $227,879  $286,442  $163,619 
Direct Support Foundations $25,000 
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $202,879  $286,442  $163,619 
Government $174,054  $97,300  $172,880 
Indirect Public Support $43,230  $43,230 
Earned Revenue $230,582  $137,353  $155,114 
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events
In-kind $19,585  $505 
Other $4,192  $745 
TOTAL REVENUE $656,292  $565,575  $534,843 

Expense by Type

  2014   2013   2012  
Programs $557,729  $467,944  $398,247 
Administration $88,581  $110,565  $88,013 
Fundraising $17,817  $25,269  $9,009 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $664,127  $603,778  $495,269 

Assets and Liabilities

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Assets $1,638,248  $2,263,901  $2,178,719 
Current Assets $1,193,613  $511,838  $704,380 
Total Liabilities $927,140  $1,544,958  $1,421,573 
Current Liabilities $696,418  $1,116,644  $912,910 
NET ASSETS $711,108  $718,943  $757,146 


TCF Staff:
Documents Form 990 2014 Form 990 2013 Form 990 2012

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.