Ottawa Housing Next


Working together to ensure everyone has a place to call home.


Ottawa Housing Next will create and implement a cross sector,
long-term and regional strategy that influences leverage points in the system to ensure affordable, accessible and safe housing is available to all.

CLICK HERE to access the Ottawa Housing Next pdf Report

For several years, all over Ottawa County conversations have been conducted about the lack of affordable housing. In order to bring together all sectors in the county concerned about addressing this need, Greater Ottawa County United Way and its program the Lakeshore Housing Alliance was chosen as the backbone organization to move this initiative forward. What became Ottawa Housing Next began in early 2014 with a series of community conversations.


August 2014: Design Team made up of leaders in the government, non-profit, and business sectors was convened to make the case for more affordable housing.

February 2015: The Design Team finalizes the first edition of the Ottawa Housing Next document, which includes data supporting the need for affordable housing. Five strategies were identified by the Design Team as possible solutions to the lack of affordable housing and included Private/Non-Profit Partnerships, Inclusionary Zoning, Housing Trust Fund, Tax Credits, and Housing Case Management.

March 2015: The community gathers around the six strategies and discussed in depth possible implementations, potential roadblocks and first steps. At the end of the community conversation, attendees had the opportunity to commit to join a work group focusing on one of the strategies.

June 2015: Work Groups begin meeting

April 2016: Ottawa Housing Next document is updated to reflect progress. Click link above to view.

April 19, 2016: Annual Community Conversation convenes

June 6, 2017: Annual Community Conversation convenes and announces a new direction for Ottawa Housing Next as detailed below:

Ottawa Housing Next is now Housing Next!

Housing Next will utilize the principles and leverage points adopted by the OHN Collective Impact process.


  • Cross-Sector: Business, Non-Profit, Education, Government are all affected by the lack of affordable housing and must play a part in collaborative effort to identify innovative solutions.
  • Regional: There is a consensus that to effectively address the issue of affordable housing we must think regionally, and act locally.
  • Sustainable: The solutions must be sustainable for community partners and for households benefiting from any one program or service. Sustainability can come from leveraging and blending a variety of funding types and by harnessing the existing infrastructure through collaboration in order to grow capacity.
  • Workforce Housing: The target populations for OHN's efforts are individuals and families that are fully employed, but earn a household wage that places them in, or at risk for falling under the ALICE threshold.
  • Mixed Income / Mixed Type Housing: OHN promotes projects that are low density and allow a broad range of ALICE and up to 130% of ALICE income levels to live in the same community.
  • Existing Housing: OHN supports efforts to decrease housing cost for the Ottawa County workforce living under the ALICE threshold by providing income supports and assistance..

Leverage Points:

  • Housing stock - Increase number of affordable units through construction and acquisition.
  • Housing cost - lower the cost of units by reducing rent or providing subsidies and efficiencies.
  • Income supports - support non-housing costs to allow more income to go toward housing.
  • Public policy - Create a policy/regulative environment that supports affordable housing.
  • Supportive services - To enhance sustainability of affordable housing.

If you have questions, or would like to get involved, please contact