Housing and Neighborhoods

Yellow Springs will promote retention, rehabilitation and development of diverse types of rental and home-ownership housing to meet current and future needs with focus on low-income, workforce and senior households to result in mixed-income, environmentally sustainable neighborhoods.  

Housing Needs

When discussing needs of the Village, housing availability and housing affordability are often raised.  Residents recognize Yellow Springs is an expensive community and there are concerns that current and future residents are being priced out of the Village.  High housing costs may also impair future economic development opportunities if employees cannot afford to live in the Village.

To address these concerns, the Village undertook a housing study in 2018 which determined the following needs:

 

Rental housing for low income seniors and families 

The largest number of renter households in Yellow Springs make less than $35,000, representing 57.7% of all renter households in the Village. This income segment is projected have the largest growth rate among renter households. Since much of this growth will be among seniors, and nearly one-fourth of all children in Yellow Springs lives in poverty, it will be important to develop rental housing for low-income seniors and families.

Workforce housing

Yellow Springs lacks available and good quality rental housing that is affordable to many workforce households (generally priced between $750 and $1,500 per month). A large number of daily workers commute into Yellow Springs. Developing workforce housing is an opportunity to attract young, blue collar workers and young professionals interested in living in Yellow Springs. The development of affordable workforce housing should be supported.

Low Maintenance Senior-Oriented Housing  

As Yellow Springs ages, developing housing designed to meet the needs of its aging population becomes more important.  This includes housing for current senior renters not adequately housed and for senior homeowners seeking to downsize into a more maintenance-free living alternative, such as condominiums and/or rentals.  

 

Modern Market Rate Rental Housing

Few modern market-rate rental alternatives exist within Yellow Springs for renters earning more than $75,000 annually.  The number of renters in this segments is projected to increase by nearly 40% and developing well-designed market-rate ($1,500 / month) housing will enable Yellow Springs to attract and retain such groups as young professionals and independent seniors. 

 

Entry Level and Higher End Modern For Sale Housing

The for-sale housing market is extremely tight, putting Yellow Springs at a competitive disadvantage with surrounding communities to retain and attract many households. Yellow Springs should support the development of modern for-sale housing, at a variety of price points, but emphasis should be on entry-level housing priced below $150,000 and product priced above $225,000. 

Special Needs Housing

Housing within Yellow Springs does not meet the long-term demands of special needs populations, which include homeless and persons with disabilities.  Housing policies and priorities within Yellow Springs should require some level of development of housing that serves these special needs populations.

The housing needs assessment determined Yellow Springs could support the following housing over the next five years:

 

  • Subsidized Rental Housing (Senior & Family)    100 units

  • Low-Income Rental Housing                                 80 units

  • Affordable workforce rental housing                    70 units

  • Market-rate rental housing                                    60 units

  • Senior Care Housing                                              15 (beds)

  • Entry-Level For-Sale Homes                                   40 units

  • Moderate-Income For-Sale Homes                       30 units

  • High-Income For-Sale Homes                              120 units

Housing Priorities and Strategies

Based on the housing market study, and the priorities expressed by the community, Yellow Springs should undertake the following strategies:

  • Promote residential infill development on vacant lots that have public utilities

    • Identify and market Village-owned surplus lots that are best suited for residential development​​

    • Work with the County Treasurer to identify and acquire vacant, tax delinquent lots that may be suitable for residential development

  • Actively support policies and initiatives to promote the development of small lots​

    • Develop a "how to" guide for residents interested in developing Accessory Dwelling Units​

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  • Review development codes to determine if the goals of promoting infill and affordable housing are impeded by regulation that increase the costs of development

    • Review if existing zoning requirements add costs to housing developments or reduce density, such as excessive parking requirements, minimum lot sizes or setbacks.

    • Amend zoning regulations to actively support "missing middle" housing types to encourage housing diversity.  Missing middle housing refers to three- and four-unit buildings that are commonly constructed and provide additional housing options.

  • Explore state and local programs that reduce the costs of new housing construction, particularly affordable  rental housing

    • Explore establishing a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) District on certain undeveloped land within the Urban Service Area, including the Glass Farm.  A CRA can enhance affordability, particularly for rental housing, by providing an exemption of real property taxes for a set period of time.  The CRA district terms and conditions are determined by the Village.

 

  • Encourage preservation and upkeep of existing housing stock

    • Explore low interest financing or state and county sources to assist low- and moderate-income homeowners to repair and upgrade their homes.

    • Proactively enforce property maintenance codes to prevent existing housing from going into disrepair.

 

  • Explore partnerships with local housing developers and real estate professionals to create additional housing opportunities within the Village.

    • Continue to support the efforts of Yellow Springs Home Inc.

    • Engage the Home Builders Association of Dayton to assist in marketing potential sites to interested homebuilders

    • Develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to gauge interest from local developers to develop the Glass Farm site. 

    • Actively market the Village as a community that desires new housing development, consistent with the Village's growth policies and commitment to sustainability

 

  • Explore housing programs and initiatives that will retain and attract diverse residents to the Village

    • Continue to work with the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce to market the village to prospective residents​

    • Educate potential buyers about available purchase incentive programs such as the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's Grants for Grads or Downpayment Assistance Program.