Homeport Board of Directors Spotlight: Kai Monahan

Kai Monahan is President of Mortgage Operations for Nationwide, where he oversees all aspects of the mortgage business. Prior to his current role, Kai served as senior vice president and Chief Audit Executive. Before joining Nationwide, Kai spent several years advising financial institutions as a partner at Ernst & Young. 

Kai has served on various boards and community organizations, including the State Audit Committee for Ohio, the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.  He also led Nationwide’s 2012 Operation Feed campaign, which generated over 2.6 million meals for the central Ohio community. 

Kai received his bachelor's degree in finance from Miami University (Ohio) and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.  He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?

I am a big believer in self-reliance.  Homeport offers the tools – safe, affordable and energy-efficient housing, financial education and out of school programs for children -- that can create a foundation for long-term stability.

What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?

Although there are many great organizations in our community and country, Homeport stands out for its holistic approach to its residents and for being an overall community asset. It offers valuable, insightful courses to soon to be first time home buyers. For existing homeowners behind on mortgage payments, it provides counselors who can coach them on how to avoid foreclosure.

Homeport also breaks down transportation and other barriers to encourage adult residents and their children to grow personally and economically, and, in the case of seniors, live out their lives with dignity. For example, on-site after school and summer time programs include a special partnership with the Boys & Girls Club at Pheasant Run Apartments. Jewish Family Services has an on-site presence to meet social service needs at Homeport senior apartment communities. At the future Hamilton Crossing senior community in Whitehall, six of 64 one- and two-bedroom apartments will be designed for individuals with disabilities.

What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?

One of the biggest affordable housing challenges we face in our community is the insufficient number of apartments with rents that cost tenants no more than 30 percent of their income. The community has a 54,000 home deficit for affordable homes. Homeport can be and is an important antidote to those who struggle with paying other bills for food, utilities, medicine, once the rent is paid. Homeport, through itsout of school programs, produce fairs, and access to other services, brings the holistic approach needed to create stability for adults to succeed economically and for their children to do well in school and to be healthy.

I’m excited about Homeport’s membership and leadership in the newly created 11-member Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio. The Alliance has great potential, through advocacy and collaboration, to help close the affordable housing gap and drive positive, lasting change across the community.