Steve Buchenroth is a retired partner with Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, where he practiced law for 40 years until 2014. His primary areas of practice were commercial real estate and franchising. For approximately a decade, Steve and his firm provided legal services to Homeport.
Both prior to and since his retirement, Steve has been active with various organizations in the legal profession and community generally. He is a past president of the Columbus Bar Association, a past chairman of the Real Property Section of the Ohio State Bar Association, and a past chair of the Board of Directors of Wittenberg University, his alma mater. In addition to serving the Board of Directors of Homeport, Steve currently serves on the boards of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation (which provides funding to legal aid associations throughout the State of Ohio), the Columbus Bar Foundation, and the Ohio State Bar Association Real Property Specialty Board.
Why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?
As a real estate lawyer, I understand the importance of safe and decent affordable housing to individuals and to the community generally. I feel that by using my time in helping Homeport fulfill its mission, I can efficiently leverage my time to serve not only housing issues, but related social service areas I care about.
What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?
Affordable housing is one of the most critical needs in Central Ohio for business, for social services and for the community generally. Homeport is playing a critical role in dealing with the problem of providing safe and decent affordable housing. There are few other areas where volunteers’ time and charitable donations can be better leveraged to help solve the myriad of social service issues that face our community. Affordable housing is important to the community from a business and economic development standpoint because employers need affordable housing within reasonable commuting distance of their business locations to attract and retain the necessary workforce. Affordable housing is critical from a social services standpoint because a safe, stable home environment is often the first step toward allowing children to perform in school, achieving stable family dynamics and achieving a sense of dignity.
What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?
Despite significant efforts by Homeport and others over the last three decades, the gap between the inventory of units of affordable housing and the need for more units of affordable housing is enormous and continues to grow. It is absolutely critical that our community increases its commitment to trying to reduce this gap by increasing the inventory. This can only be done when all the stakeholders work together.