ALL - Affordable Housing Marion, Ohio

  Dates & times
  • Fri, 03/08/2024 - 10:00am
  Age Groups Adult Lifelong Learning


ALL - Adult Lifelong Learning

*** Program registration and payment required ***

Fall 2023 ALL

Affordable Housing Marion, Ohio
Friday, March 8 & 15 at 10:00 am

Representatives of the Regional Planning Commission and Habitat for Humanity will present their insights into the issue of affordable housing in our community. 

Session One: Rich will talk about how the land bank works with prospective property owners to rehab blighted residential properties by making them habitable. This process involves several steps including property inspections and application reviews. In addition, the land bank demolishes blighted properties that cannot be rehabbed which allows for additional home sites as well as larger side yards for currently existing homes. 

Ken will talk about how various additional programs that the Marion City/County Regional Planning Commission administers effect affordable and current housing stock. These programs include the CHIP (home repair), CRA (tax incentives for new and rehabbed housing, (CSSLP) home septic assistance, and (CDBG) various community improvements. 

Session Two: Why should Marion's "middle class" care about affordable housing? Lynn will lead us in a session demonstrating that the community is only as strong as its affordable housing stock. She will discuss the data-driven need for a concentrated community-led effort to improve the availability of decent affordable and workforce housing in Marion County. There will be a discussion of both the shocking statistics we battle and real local stories. The need is very real, and the solutions must embrace new methods to create impact in this sector. She will cover both what is currently being done by Habitat for Humanity and others in the community, as well as creative ideas that could improve our workforce housing stocks for years to come. The participant will also leave with a knowledge of where to quickly access local data that references housing numbers. 

Each 1hr course is led by:
Rich Fender, Ken Lengieza, and Lynn Zucker

Rich Fender joined the Marion County Regional Planning Commission staff in August 2020 where he serves as the Director of the Marion County Land Bank. In this capacity, he assists in the creation of affordable housing by working with individuals to rehab land bank houses. Rich also administers the county’s brownfield and site demolition and revitalization programs and is a county planner assisting with the county subdivision regulations. Rich formerly was with the Jefferson County, Ohio Regional Planning 
Commission where he led the effort to create that county’s first land bank.

Ken Lengieza was the Planning Director of Marion City and County from 1981 to 2018, starting when Marion was losing major industries and was experiencing an increase in poverty and a decrease in housing maintenance. He led the effort to obtain funding for the NW Interceptor Sanitary Sewer, which has made industrial expansion possible, as well as being part of the team to develop industrial parks. Concerning housing, Ken worked with Engineers, Realtors, and Builders to streamline the Subdivision Review Process. He is a founding member of Marion CANDO and was past President of the Ohio Conference of Community. He remains active in both organizations.

Lynn Zucker became Habitat for Humanity of Marion Ohio full-time Executive Director in 2013. She helped facilitate the opening of a ReStore and the incorporation of two other volunteer-managed affiliates to create Buckeye Ridge HFH in 2016. Her duties at BRHFH include operations, financial management, human resources, resource development, Homebuyer U education, overseeing mortgage portfolios, and advocacy. She holds a BS from The Ohio State University in Agricultural Economics. Lynn serves on the Public Policy Subcommittee of the U.S. Council with Habitat for Humanity International. She is on the Board of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. Locally, she is a member of the Marion County Board of Elections, Marion County Republican Central Committee, Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, and Marion Christian Center.

For more information and a complete course list visit