Housing Study and Needs Assessment

City of Columbus Department of Community Development

Columbus, IN


Housing Study and Needs Assessment

Columbus, Indiana

The City of Columbus, Indiana seeks proposals for the development of a Housing Study and Needs Assessment for Columbus, Indiana.


The City of Columbus, Indiana, through the Department of Community Development, is seeking a well-qualified consultant to complete a housing study and needs assessment for the City of Columbus to identify existing housing stock within the city and recommend future housing strategies that ensure the housing market provides opportunities for all income levels and segments of the population. The study will be required to include, but is not limited to, the assessment of existing housing conditions, demographics, present and future housing market demands, and identification of critical attainable housing market gaps, possible housing types that do not currently exist in the city, and issues as further described in this Request for Proposal ("RFP").

The City of Columbus, the major city in Bartholomew County, is a regional center for employment, health care, finance, shopping, and entertainment in southeastern Indiana with a population of 51,000+. Due to the vision of community leaders over the last 70 years, the overarching goal of the community is to be "...the best community of our size in the country." Quality of life, architectural design, educational excellence, parks and recreation facilities, development of accessible public spaces, and economic vitality are at the heart of every decision made through a collaborative process encompassing the public, private, and social sectors. The community is well known for our strong economy, vibrant downtown, and diverse population. We are home to Cummins, Inc., a Fortune 200 company, and over 35 international companies, resulting in over 50 distinct languages being spoken by students in our public schools. Over 10,000 people commute into Columbus from surrounding areas, many of whom would like to make Columbus their home if not for the lack of available housing. This study, although focused on Columbus which is the area we can impact, may also want to examine Bartholomew County and make more expansive recommendations.

Across the country, the availability of housing supply is a priority issue, but each community has unique needs and potential solutions. Columbus is a city with a mixture of high and low income earners, racial and cultural diversity, in close proximity to several major cities – such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati, OH and Louisville, KY. These elements create distinctive challenges to providing the right mix of housing, of various price-points, which are attractive and attainable to our residents.

Project Description:

The City of Columbus anticipates a project that will include the following components:

  • Review of Population and Demographic Data: A review of the existing population and demographic data in the City of Columbus; regarding income, percentage of household income spent on housing, household size, age compared to income, poverty rates, and immigration.
  • Review of Existing Housing Supply: An analysis of the attainability and availability of existing housing including a comparison of sales and rental rates with local incomes/wages, as well as regional indicators. The study should address and segment: attainable/work-force housing, market rate housing, and housing for young professionals, retirees, empty nesters, and public service professionals. The study should consider housing cost burden across all income levels.
  • Housing Demand: An analysis of current and 10-year housing demand outlook, utilizing demographic and economic profiles, examining growth projections over the next 10-years. The study should provide information in regards to housing demand by type, and assessment of nearby municipalities that could attract potential residents to their communities due to available housing and prices.
  • Stakeholder Input: Consideration of issues that those that are key stakeholders in the housing community see as barriers to attainability. The City will provide the contact information for key stakeholders.
  • Review of the Development Environment: An examination of policies, regulations, utilities, services, builders/developers, institutions, and private markets that affect the development environment in the City of Columbus.
  • Gap Analysis: An analysis of the current market to determine whether a deficit or surplus of housing units exists for households in various income bands for rental and owner-occupied housing. The analysis should specifically consider cost-burdened households, those living in substandard housing for rental housing, and address household growth and need for replacement housing over time. The analysis should hypothesize how this gap affects the 10,000 +/- individuals that commute into Columbus for work.
  • Market Study: An analysis of market data predicting population growth and housing demand, rent and sales projections, and housing needs.
  • Growth Metrics: Utilizing data from the market study, a strategy in which the City can attract and retain talent to the community, determine 10-year target growth, and determine a community vision for housing over the next 10-years.
  • Proposed Recommendations: Recommendations for the City of Columbus that would include but not be limited to:
    • What is needed to attract/retain more development and residents.
    • Opportunities to create and sustain workforce/attainable housing in Columbus.
    • Mixed-income housing development strategies.
    • Strategies for needed housing types.
    • Appropriate markets and product mix.
    • Neighborhood revitalization strategies.
    • Opportunities for providing needed housing for young professionals, empty nesters, retirees, and public service professionals.

Proposal Submittal Requirements

The Consultant shall provide a Proposal limited to a maximum of 20 pages, including a detailed statement of work for the product/services believed to be appropriate for the City of Columbus, Indiana, addressing the Project Description detailed in this RFP.

The Proposal should indicate the following, at a minimum:

  • Firm Information: The name of the firm, its website address, and the location of the office from which the work will be completed. If a team of firms or sub-contractors will be used, identify all included firms, the lead firm, and the general percentage of work to be completed by each firm.
  • Qualifications: The qualifications of the consultant's staff members who are proposed to complete the project. Include only those staff members who will be active members of the project team. Do not include any firm leadership members who will not actively participate in the project.
  • Experience: Related and similar projects previously completed by those consultant staff members proposed to complete the project. Do not include similar projects completed by the consultant, but by different staff members.
  • Scope of Services: A detailed statement of the consultant's proposed scope of services that demonstrates the consultant's understanding of the project, intended overall approach, and any unique resources or practices to be applied to the project.
  • Fee Proposal: A proposed lump sum fee to complete the project.
  • Timeline: A general timeline for completing the project.
  • References: Two references for which the consultant has completed similar projects, including the title of that project and the reference's name, address, and phone number.
  • Contact Information: Contact information for the individual to whom questions about the proposal should be directed (including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address)

Submittal Process and Details

All proposals must be submitted as detailed in the manner described herein. Exceptions nor extensions to established deadlines will not be granted.

Submit via Email to:

Robin Hilber, Assistant Director
City of Columbus- Community Development Department
Email: rhilber@columbus.in.gov

Submit By:

5:00 PM EST on October 2nd, 2023

Contact for Questions:

Robin Hilber, Assistant Director
City of Columbus- Community Development Department
Phone: 812.376.2522
Email: rhilber@columbus.in.gov

Please submit questions by Monday, September 18th, 2023. Responses will be provided Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Submitters should not construe a response to this RFP as a contract, letter of intent, nor infer a commitment of any kind. The RFP does not commit the City of Columbus to pay for costs incurred in the submission of a response to this RFP, or for any costs incurred prior to the execution of a final contract. Finalists may be invited to present in front of the selection committee and must be prepared to attend, in person, and must be prepared to incur any costs associated with such.

Selection Procedures

The Consultant shall be selected based on the following factors, in order of importance, (1) qualifications, (2) timeline, (3) related experience, (4) project approach, and (5) fee. The proposal will be reviewed by a committee of local officials and stakeholders. Interviews with a shortlist of consultants are likely prior to a final selection being made.

Request Type
Monday, October 2, 2023

Contact Information

Contact Email