Between 1986 and 1988, the Enterprise Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity became interested in addressing the affordable housing need in major cities throughout the country.

At the persuasion of public officials, Enterprise founder James Rouse visited Columbus while on a tour of Ohio’s three major cities, with the intent of identifying the potential for affordable housing in Ohio. Rouse was attracted by the strong sense of community in Columbus and realized the City and its citizens would be receptive to a comprehensive effort to strengthen the city through affordable, healthy homes.

 Homeport Founders Celebrate at our 25th Anniversary Celebration

Homeport Founders Celebrate at our 25th Anniversary Celebration

 Read more Homeport history in our 25th Anniversary book.

Read more Homeport history in our 25th Anniversary book.

Shortly thereafter, Columbus’ prominent developers, philanthropic families, and government officials initiated a campaign to raise the millions of dollars necessary to bring low-cost, high quality housing to the community. It took leadership from people like Irving and Melvin Schottenstein, who through their company M/I Homes, were already connected to real estate professionals, including Don Kelley, Robert Weiler, and Max Holzer. It was Irving Schottenstein who saw the need for affordable housing for working families, and Mel who recognized a similar need for an organized shelter system for the homeless. With the seed money raised by The Columbus Foundation, the City, the faith community, and business leaders, their visions came to fruition just one year later when an organized shelter system (Community Shelter Board) and Columbus Neighborhood Partnership (Columbus Housing Partnership, and later Homeport) were incorporated in Columbus.

Today, Homeport carries on the initiative begun by our founders to create and preserve healthy communities and improve the lives of those who live in them.

Homeport celebrates 30 years of developing affordable housing as a cornerstone of dignity, security and opportunity for Central Ohio Residents.



Between 2008 and 2018, Homeport has received honors and recognition such as:

  • PRSA of Central Ohio- 2018 PRism Award for Publications: Newsletter, Non-Profit
  • 2018 Community Properties of Ohio (CPO) Most Valued Partner award
  • The Columbus Foundation 5 Nonprofits to Watch in 2017
  • Awarded Ohio Association of Non Profit Organizations Standards for Excellence Certification.
  • Better Business Bureau member and accredited charity.
  • Recipient of the 2009 Ohio Housing Finance Agency Sustainable Homeownership Excellence.
  • Recipient of the 2008 Columbus Foundation Award from The Columbus Foundation.
  • Recognized by the Hope Now Alliance for our contributions to their Foreclosure Workshop.
  • Holds tier one status with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
  • The City of Columbus received a “Best Practices Award” from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for NSP investment in Homeport’s North of Broad community.
  • Recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program for “participation in the program, which has assisted more than one million homeowners facing foreclosure, and for its dedication to preserving and promoting sustainable homeownership.”
  • Homeport was recognized by Ohio Housing Finance Agency for having provided telephone counseling to more OHFA Homebuyer Education clients than any agency in the state.
  • OCCH’s Excellence in Senior Housing Award for Elim Manor.
  • Certificate of Commendation for its Bright Ideas Book Bank program.