The first annual Landlord Appreciation Day was held February 15 at the Salvation Army’s Greenwood Lake Camp (in Delaware) to thank Delaware County landlords and encourage conversation around providing affordable housing.
Elmer Fuller was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” while Michael Folks of Kassel Management was presented with the “Landlord of the Year Award” for the work they do with local housing programs.
The event was hosted by Delaware County Housing Authority, Del-Mor Dwellings Corp., The Salvation Army and United Way of Delaware County, all members of the Delaware County Housing Coalition. The event was sponsored by City Barbeque, with 15 landlords from across the county in attendance.
In addition to the award presentations, landlords in attendance heard from Tia Lyons, a client of The Salvation Army’s Permanent Supportive Housing program and Delaware County Housing Authority’s voucher program. Through these programs, Tia and her daughter have remained successfully housed while she completes her bachelors of social work. Lyons shared her story of success which could only be made possible by the cooperation of local housing programs and local landlords.
Delaware County’s Area Median Income decreased from 2015 to 2016, from $71,000 to $69,600. Delaware County has 4.9% of the population at or below the poverty level, which is 8,751 individuals. This is up from 4.5% (8,025 individuals) in 2011. Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2016 are $11,880 for a single person and $24,300 for a family of four.
Meanwhile, housing costs continue to rise. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2016 Out of Reach report says that a Delaware County single individual would need to make $25,520 ($12.27 an hour) to be able to afford a one bedroom apartment. A family of four would need to make $33,240 ($15.98 an hour) to be able to afford even a two bedroom apartment.
Delaware County is ranked as one of the five most expensive counties in Ohio. A minimum wage worker would need to work 55 hours a week to afford the Ohio average cost of a one bedroom, but in Delaware county this goes up to 61 hours a week.
Information for this story was provided by Kelsey Sommers Fox.