A series of reports that examine housing markets in Ohio’s regions impacted by shale oil development have been released by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s (OHFA’s) Office of Affordable Housing Research and Strategic Planning.

"There is a great deal of interest in Ohio's shale oil industry and its effects on Ohio's economy," said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver in a statement. "As the first research effort of this kind in the state, each report provides valuable information for policymakers to address housing needs, but also raises additional questions and the necessity to monitor housing markets in Eastern Ohio."

This research was a collaborative effort between OHFA and the Ohio Development Services Agency and conducted by The Ohio State University, Ohio University (OU), the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), and Vogt Santer Insights.

OU's researchers studied Carroll County where the demand for affordable housing has significantly risen as a result of recent drilling activity and an increased number of drilling permits. The influx of workers, limited availability of affordable housing in the county for residents, and housing per diems provided to temporary workers have enabled rental market prices to climb and other factors have led to a strain on the existing housing infrastructure.

Most shale workers have been able to obtain housing in single home rental units, local hotels, campgrounds, or other temporary options. A shortage of rental homes has left moderate- and low-income residents with limited housing options. The barriers to address these housing needs are predominantly centered on high levels of uncertainty regarding the trajectory of shale development. The findings suggest that modest increases in the development of hotels and low-income housing may be warranted; however, it is imperative to continue monitoring housing availability and affordability to ensure the markets can appropriately respond to housing needs as they evolve.

"This work will serve as a benchmark for further study of housing insecurity as the gas and oil industry grows, and will help us develop effective policy solutions to address the housing needs of impacted populations," said Bill Faith, executive director of COHHIO.

The reports can be found here.