Owing a pet has become a challenge because of landlords’ reluctance to allow them in a rental unit. Some Ohio lawmakers, however, want to change this trend, and thus, have proposed a financial incentive for landlords. Specifically, the new bill proposes an Ohio tax credit for pet friendly landlords.
Ohio Tax Credit For Pet Friendly Landlords: What Is It?
On Monday, State Representatives Juanita Brent and Sharon Ray introduced House Bill 277, called the Pet-Friendly Rental Act. The proposed bill offers a tax credit to landlords who allow dogs and cats in rental units without breed or size restrictions, or without charging any additional fees, or a nonrefundable fee for the pets.
The bill doesn’t force landlords to accept pets; rather, non-pet-friendly landlords won’t qualify for the Ohio tax credit for pet friendly landlords. Although most landlords are pet friendly, many people, including senior citizens, still face pet-related issues from landlords and thus are forced to surrender their pets to shelters.
According to the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL), almost 100 pets have already been surrendered this year because their owners faced problems in finding pet-friendly housing. Also, about 150 pets were surrendered this year because their owners were “moving,” the APL said.
“I’m grateful to Representatives Brent and Ray for sponsoring this proactive piece of legislation that recognizes pets as members of our families and the benefits they bring to their peoples’ lives,” Cleveland APL President & CEO Sharon Harvey said in a statement.
Eligible landlords could get a tax credit of $750 per unit up to a max of $7500, according to Rep. Ray.
Tax Credits To Develop Affordable Housing
In separate news, Ohio recently launched two new housing tax credit programs to help with affordable housing. The two programs – the state housing tax credit program and the single-family housing tax credit program – are part of Ohio’s $191 billion budget, which Gov. Mike DeWine approved in July.
Under the state housing tax credit program, developers will be encouraged to come up with low-income housing by offering tax credits to projects receiving federal aid. The program limits the credit amount to $100 million, which is expected to develop about 4,000 housing units by the end of the program’s term (June 30, 2027).
The single-family housing tax credit program is aimed at helping first-time home buyers. The budget limits the amount of state credits for this program to $50 million in a fiscal year.
A March report from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio and the National Low Income Housing Coalition found a shortage of about 270,000 affordable and available rental units for 448,000 extremely low-income households in Ohio.
Further, the report found that full-time workers need to earn at least $19.09 per hour, an increase of $2.04 from last year, to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in the state.