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Mayor Horrigan Releases Planning to Grow Akron Report Designed to Attract New Residents and Grow the City’s Tax Base


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 02-06-2017

Akron, Ohio, February 6, 2017 – Mayor Dan Horrigan wants to grow Akron’s population again—and he has a plan for doing it.

Today Mayor Horrigan and Jason Segedy, Director of Planning and Urban Development, unveiled the Planning to Grow Akron report—the culmination of the City’s year-long effort to deliver a comprehensive look at housing in the City and recommend a set of strategies designed to jumpstart private investment in Akron neighborhoods. Planning to Grow Akron will lay the groundwork for facilitating an increase in the supply of marketable, market-rate housing in the City in order to attract new middle class residents, reverse Akron’s gradual decline in population, and grow the City’s tax base. The report and supporting documents can be found at

“Almost as soon as I was sworn in, I asked the Planning Department to compile meaningful data on the state of housing in our neighborhoods and use those findings to recommend policies and strategies that we can use to draw middle-class residents back into the City,” Mayor Horrigan said of the plan. “Akron has valuable housing stock, quality infrastructure, and first-class amenities; but, like many urban communities, over the last several decades we have lost families to newer housing in the suburbs. Its time for us to be intentional about welcoming residents back into Akron by incentivizing private developers to rehabilitate existing housing and build new housing in the City that families want to live in. For the last several years we have been demolishing more houses than we build, and we plan to reverse that trend—starting now. I want to be the Mayor that grows Akron’s population again.”

Planning to Grow Akron recommends several strategies for activating private investment including: implementing city-wide residential property tax abatement on new housing development and rehabilitation; crafting neighborhood-based plans with community input; promoting downtown housing as an alternative to vacant office space; increasing the utilization of the Summit County Land Bank for targeted acquisition and demolition; modernizing the Zoning Code to encourage mixed-use development; expediting the permitting process; and increasing the identification and marketing of historic areas and community assets to spur economic development.

“While this plan is aimed at attracting higher and middle income residents into our tipping-point neighborhoods, these strategies will benefit all of our residents,” Mayor Horrigan said. “This truly is a case of ‘a rising tide lifts all ships.’ Building new market-rate housing and rehabilitating our existing stock will attract more residents, meaning a stronger tax base to support essential City services. It also means greater spending power to help attract and retain local businesses and jobs in the City. These investments in housing will raise property values for existing homeowners, bring in new students for our outstanding community learning centers, and help spread out the cost of public improvement projects. Akron is one of the most affordable cities in the country, and we plan to stay that way.”

The Planning to Grow Akron strategy will work in concert with two other reports—a Market Value Analysis being developed by the Reinvestment Fund and the Build in Akron report being prepared by the Greater Ohio Policy Center, which provides more in-depth suggestions for targeted investment based on best practices seen around the state. Both reports are expected to be released in the coming months and will be valuable resources for public and private stakeholders looking to develop new housing in Akron.


For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street, Suite 200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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