ROCK OF FAITH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The Rock of Faith Community Development Corporation (ROFCDC) has been serving the South of Main Street community since 2003. Rock of Faith CDC is a non-profit 501(c) (3) agency regulated by a board of trustees who represent various sectors of the central Ohio community and partner organizations. ROFCDC also qualifies as a future federal, state and local certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), as determined by the IRS. ROFCDC is located within the Columbus Ohio Empowerment Zone program. The Empowerment Zone is a HUD program designed to revitalize targeted distressed communities. The statutory purpose of the Empowerment Zone initiative is to promote economic development by providing economic incentives.
ROFCDC proposes (see Executive Summary) to sponsor the revitalization of the South of Main Civic Association area bordered by Main Street, Nelson Road, Cole Street and Kelton Avenue on the near east side of Columbus, Ohio, the 15th largest city in the USA. The project area is 52 contiguous blocks or over 100 acres, in which Rock of Faith Baptist Church currently owns three acres centered and facing north on Main Street. Our objective today is to raise one million dollars for pre-development of our property and to option adjacent parcels for cohesive long-term planning, rather than scattered sites. As market value rises with development, we will leverage our land for matching funds, grants, loans and donations to begin Phase One in partnership with a state-approved CHDO that has capacity and experience.
The long-term objectives are to help update the physical community to livable-sustainable standards and, in a self-sustaining model, continue to provide and grow social services to uplift the local resident’s ability to support themselves as contributing members of that community. To that end we are proposing in general:
- To develop permanent and permanent supportive housing (PSH), affordable/workforce, senior, veteran and student housing for the local population utilizing Enterprise Green Community and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified standards, including renewable, storable/construction energy. We have successful, respected development partners for all projected housing.
- As the project progresses and the market allows, we will build mixed-use facilities to include office, commercial, retail and market rate housing. Eventually, our development will greatly contribute to a vibrant Main Street corridor west from Bexley to South High Street in downtown Columbus!
- We plan to create veteran, incarceration, homeless, and at-risk re-entry housing at remodeled facilities in the immediate surrounding area we previously acquired.
- A highly reputable development group has initiated the complete rehabilitation of the magnificent 123-year-old Italian architectural church as a state-of-the-art event center while maintaining the interfaith chapel/sanctuary. The architecturally complementary high school will eventually be residences or offices with a community performance center. Both buildings qualify for National Historical Significance.
- Create and expand continuous, sustainable community social services supported by ongoing revenue from leases, energy PPAs and contracts to provide those services.
ROFCDC’s desire is to lead the revitalization of the South of Main Civic Association area on the near east side of Columbus. ROFCDC envisions that through successful development phases and programs, we will strengthen the neighborhood of the project area. ROFCDC is becoming the area’s primary community development organization. It initiates activities designed to attract employment opportunities, increase the supply of good, affordable housing to better ensure its residents have a nice and safe place to live.
ROFCDC is partnering with experts in developing and operating affordable and mixed-use developments, experts that are mission-driven to help serve the neediest population groups. We believe a stable home environment is the foundation for recovery and community stability. We believe affordable and permanent supportive housing allows recovery and turnaround to take place, wherein residents can obtain employment, counseling, and life skills training, eventually breaking their own cycle of poverty and improving their quality of life. Additionally, either the developer or a sister property management company will use this philosophy in their “Blended Housing” model, which is only successful when partnering with a strong and similarly minded NFP development partner and community services provider(s).
ROFCDC and our partners have a common goal; to revitalize the community through the creation of affordable housing. ROFCDC is an experienced local service provider and stabilizing force in the community and our partner developer will be an expert in developing and operating affordable housing. Together we will work to revitalize the South of Main area of Columbus, Ohio by creating affordable housing and providing residents with comprehensive supportive services and community linkages to improve the quality of their lives and support them in their recovery.
ROFCDC and its partner developer will work together to develop South Of Main Residences, the gut rehab of a long-vacant high school on the corner of Mound St. and Berkeley, directly adjacent to the Rock of Faith Baptist Church and ROFCDC service offices. This project will create approximately 24 high-quality apartments at affordable rents for some of the neediest community members and senior citizens. The project will provide wrap-around social services to ensure residents’ recovery, employment, financial growth, family stability and personal empowerment. These services will be offered on-site as well as through linkages with service providers in the community.
South Of Main Residences will be surrounded by an increasingly revitalized community with a growing range of amenities and employment opportunities for residents including medical facilities, community services, schools, churches, public transportation, grocery stores and other shopping. There is now ongoing residential and commercial development underway in every area surrounding South of Main, which the city of Columbus continues to win national praise for its well-planned progress.