A competition for housing
the next million




The Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), in partnership with Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Division, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Columbus, and Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio, invites architects, builders, developers or teams of design and building professionals to participate in Next Home 2021, a housing competition seeking forward-thinking strategies and high quality solutions to enable greater housing access to residents of Columbus and Franklin County.

Entrants are asked to submit a design proposal for a housing solution that can be adapted to fit the conditions of two Franklin County communities: Hilltop (Columbus) and the City of Whitehall and can each be built for a construction budget of $170,000 or less. A jury consisting of competition stakeholders, community representatives, builders, and unaffiliated design professionals, will review submissions and select one winner to enter into contract with COCIC for construction of the chosen design solution within each community.


Competition Launch
Virtual Panel: Housing the Next Million
Q & A  Period
Registration deadline
Submissions Due
Jury Review
Award Announcement
Design Month Panel

April 2021
April 22, 2021
May 21
July 26
September 14 
September 21
October 2021
October 13, 2021

A growing need for quality housing.

In November 2018, COCIC, The Franklin County Land Bank, and the City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Division announced plans to establish the Central Ohio Community Land Trust (COCLT). The Community Land Trust is a subsidiary of COCIC and supported by the City of Columbus and the Franklin County Commissioners.

Homes built as a result of this design competition will be in the COCLT portfolio, permanently owned as a community asset, and guaranteed to be perpetually affordable for future residents. To keep COCLT homes affordable, the buyers must meet certain income requirements and the future sale price of the home will be set by the organization. The need to preserve and create affordable housing is at an all-time high throughout the state with nearly 50% of all Ohioans cost-burdened by housing.

While Central Ohio has seen tremendous economic growth and prosperity, the region has growing social and economic disparities. This impacts health, employment, education, transportation, and housing for some of our most vulnerable residents. Across Franklin County, more than 50,000 renter-households are spending at least 50% of their annual income on housing. The complex problem of housing affordability is driven partly by regional population growth, a subsequent rise in housing costs, and wage stagnation faced by most workers.

Of the 10 most common jobs in Ohio, just two pay enough for a worker to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Workers may also face challenges with transportation, and family care-giving, thereby further diminishing their ability to find and maintain a job. Making ends meet is nearly impossible for many people. Ensuring that quality housing is affordable at a range of income levels is critical to supporting economic progress throughout Central Ohio. An adequate housing supply is critical to attracting and maintaining a talented workforce, and an affordability crisis could stifle growth by creating unmanageable conditions and increasing housing instability.

Next Home 2021 seeks to identify and bring to reality viable strategies that contribute additional housing stock to historically de-populated neighborhoods in Franklin County. More housing options means more stability, a reduction of pressure on the real estate market, and more economically accessible housing for the diverse lifestyle and needs of all residents in the region.

Project Partners

Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC)

The mission of COCIC is to acquire properties in order to improve the quality of neighborhoods, increase property values and return unproductive properties to contributing, tax-paying status, and create diverse housing and business opportunities by leveraging resources to promote and facilitate the reclamation, rehabilitation and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed, or other real property in Franklin County.

City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Division
The City's Land Redevelopment Division works with the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation to bring vacant properties back into productive use in Columbus neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Design Center
The Neighborhood Design Center has been involved in urban revitalization efforts in Columbus and Central Ohio for nearly 40 years. Our mission is to promote economic prosperity and an enriched quality of life through the rediscovery and revitalization of the built environment in underserved communities. Our team of design professionals and students utilize design thinking, public engagement, project visioning, and advocacy in the pursuit of these aspirations.

American Institute of Architecture - Columbus
Founded in 1913 and celebrating their 100th anniversary, the AIA Columbus Chapter is one of the largest urban components of the American Institute of Architects in the Midwest with members from throughout the Central Ohio area – serving a 32-county area from Mansfield to Marietta and Columbus to Lancaster. With over 600 members and affiliated members, Columbus AIA seeks to be the authoritative source for information on the built environment and to be the credible voice of the architecture profession.

Building Industry Association of Central Ohio
Since 1943, the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio has represented single and multi-family homebuilders, developers and remodelers throughout the region. Other members include trade partners, suppliers and service professionals. As leaders in the housing industry, BIA is dedicated to protecting the interests of the industry while promoting ethical business practices and standards. BIA supports their members through professional development, legislative outreach, industry promotion, charitable efforts and support of home ownership.

Columbus City Council
The Columbus City Council is the legislative branch of the City of Columbus with the responsibility of adopting annual operating and capital budgets, city contracts and enacting the Columbus City Codes. Council also establishes land use policy through its zoning powers. The council consists of seven at-large members representing more than 850,000 residents and are elected to serve a four-year term.

Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther was elected the 53rd mayor of Columbus on Nov. 3, 2015, succeeding Mayor Michael B. Coleman who was the longest-serving mayor in Columbus history. He believes that the future of Columbus depends on ensuring the city has vibrant, thriving neighborhoods. He has focused on making opportunity neighborhoods—Franklinton, Hilltop, Linden, Near East, Northland, Near South, Southeast, and Northeast—stronger by building on their greatest assets, the people who reside in our neighborhoods.

QUESTIONS? / 614 221 5001 / EMAIL