Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), Columbus, OH
A blueprint for community investment that transforms a neighborhood and improves quality of life
In 2011, The Ohio State University, the City of Columbus and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) embarked on a transformational community development initiative for a large part of the city’s Near East Side. In an area of more than 800 acres—roughly the size of Downtown Columbus—these three organizations promised to develop an achievable revitalization plan based on the community’s collective vision with clearly identified implementation actions. Together, they formed the planning organization Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT).
As this effort was funded in part through a HUD Choice Neighborhoods planning grant, core objectives of the plan were organized under the categories of People, Housing, and Neighborhood. Goals given the highest priority by the community include:
- Preserve and celebrate the African American history of the Near East Side
- Encourage new mixed-income development; ensure that the neighborhood remains affordable
- Prioritize new investments along the main corridors
- Improve educational outcomes through the creation of the Health Sciences Academies in the PACT geography
- Create a ladder of career opportunities through workforce training and development, and partnerships with area employers
- OSU committed $10 million to support housing, health initiatives, and neighborhood retail opportunities along the Taylor Avenue corridor
- In the spring of 2013, PACT restructured from a community advocacy group to a nonprofit corporation (Ohio 501(c)(3) to lead implementation efforts
- In September 2013, CMHA submitted a HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant application. This effort has further stimulated local partners around the People, Housing and Neighborhood strategies, yielding over $220 million in documented commitments to spur new and continued investments in the neighborhood.