Reflecting on 25 years of Building Vibrant Communities

This year, Homeport is celebrating 25 years of building vibrant communities.  In 1986, 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 make housing affordable to everyone who lived there. 

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.  Twenty-five years later, Homeport carries on the initiative begun by the progressive founders, to create and preserve healthy, stable, and affordable communities one neighborhood, one person at a time.


Vision: Every person lives in a vibrant community where they are empowered to dream and shape their future.

Mission: To create and preserve healthy, stable and affordable communities, one neighborhood one person at a time.

We do this by:

  • Developing quality and energy efficient homes
  • Providing consistent and transformative education and services to address each resident’s unique barriers to, and opportunities for, success
  • Involving and empowering residents
  • Focusing on community revitalization
  • Creating strong and fruitful collaborations

To see how Homeport has been Building Vibrant Communities over the last 25 years please take a look at our 25th Anniversary Celebration Book below.