In 2021-2022, Mosaic Community Planning collaborated with the City of Westerville to complete a study of the City’s housing stock with a focus on assessing current and future attainability of housing in the city. Unique to this project was the drafting of a community-informed definition for “attainable housing”. Not wanting to strictly adhere to HUD’s affordability definition but to instead construct one reflective of a local concept of attainability, and inclusive of factors beyond just affordability, Mosaic guided stakeholders and community members through this process as a foundational aspect of the project.
Westerville is a growing suburb of Columbus, and the city will need to accommodate an increasing population through careful planning of housing and services. Choosing not to grow is not an option for any vibrant, healthy city. Rather, Westerville’s choice is in how to accommodate growth while maintaining its unique identity and enhancing the quality of life that makes the city an appealing place to live.
Our study included data from sources such as the US Census, the American Community Survey, the national Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy Database, the City of Westerville’s Building Permit database, and other local and regional sources. Most importantly, it also includes the voices of Westerville residents. From September through December 2021, Mosaic conducted an electronic community survey to receive input from Westerville residents and interested members of the wider community on the housing study. The 24-question survey received 553 responses and asked a range of questions regarding housing types, needs, and attainability in Westerville. Additionally, Mosaic conducted and participated in stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and community presentations.
By synthesizing demographic and housing market research with resident feedback, our Attainable Housing Study outlines a path for the City to plan for its future in a way that is fair and equitable to all.