Homeport Receives $35,000 Grant From Nationwide Foundation

Karen Blickley, Nationwide Foundation VP, second row, center. Homeport Homebuyer Ed Counselor Kerrick Jackson, far left. 

Karen Blickley, Nationwide Foundation VP, second row, center. Homeport Homebuyer Ed Counselor Kerrick Jackson, far left. 

‘Empowering Individuals And Families’

For the seventh consecutive year Nationwide Foundation has contributed $35,000 to Homeport in support of its mission to provide affordable housing in Central Ohio. 

“Affordable housing is essential for the Central Ohio area to be a better place to live and work. It’s important to the vibrancy of our community,” said Karen Blickley, vice president of Nationwide Foundation. 

The latest grant means Nationwide Foundation has provided Homeport with nearly $700,000 since 1997.

Bruce Luecke, Homeport’s interim President and CEO, said Homeport is grateful for organizations like Nationwide Foundation that are contributing to the health and wellbeing of the community. 

“The grant supports initiatives like homebuyer education, out of school programming, resident leadership, construction of affordable rental apartments, home renovations and the sale of new builds and renovations,” said Luecke. 

In 2015 Homeport had a record 869 individuals complete homebuyer education classes that open the door to down payment assistance from Franklin County and the state of Ohio. 

Homeport also opened 32 affordable rental apartments for seniors in Whitehall and provided 5,800 residents access to a broad array of needs from health to food to utility payments and eviction prevention. 

It is currently building and leasing Hilltop Homes II, 39 single-family homes on the city’s West Side – properties that in 15 years could be purchased at affordable prices. 

In June, Homeport will have completed its three-phase, $9 million renovation of 59 apartments known as Victorian Heritage. The investment will allow modest income residents to continue living in “emerging neighborhoods” south of Ohio State University. 

Planning is also underway to construct Hamilton Crossing, 64 apartments for low- to-moderate income seniors on South Hamilton Road in Whitehall between Broad and Main streets. 

“Homeport is empowering individuals and families in and around Columbus,” said Blickley, who recently witnessed a Homeport homebuyer education taught class at the Reeb Avenue Center on the city’s South Side. "Nationwide Foundation is proud to support Homeport."