The Chaire of Pierre: Affordable Housing Solutions


Our top ideas were…

Work for rent– Work for rent is a concept where people who do not have enough funds to make a down payment for housing can go to a complex and work for the renters to pay for their rent. A large portion of rent paid goes to cover the owner of a building’s cost to run the complex, so if there are programs where people who need help paying rent can work on landscape, maintenance, cleaning, etc. in exchange for rent or as a way to reduce their monthly payment. This can help keep low income buildings well maintained, nice to live in, and affordable for a lot more people. If the people who live in a place also work to make it nicer, than the amount of care that goes into the work will show in the end result. This confronts the unfair way that cheap housing is in near disrepair, and how the slumlords can charge more rent than it should be because of a lack of better options. This strategy would be a lot more effective if the government incentivized programs such as this to attract the owners of buildings in areas that need it.

Rent to own– Renting to own allows people to build some equity when they pay rent. When people are using half their incomes on their rent then their money is essentially lost to the renters. So, if there was some program incentivized by the government for people who pay rent on time, have been good tenants, and have stayed in a place for a prolonged time to be able to build up equity in the property that they live in. Over time, part of their rent every month will build up in equity, and if they want they can take out a mortgage to buy the place, but the equity that they have built up will go towards the down payment or directly to pay off some of the mortgage.

Split housing– If there were a lot of multi-family housing units developed in existing structures that are in disrepair using the rent-to-own and work-for-rent concepts discussed above, then many of the low income housing problems can be addressed. Many existing structures in Columbus could be great places to live, and if communities that are affordable and promote care for housing are set up then they could be brought back to their intended potential and the slow decay of low income housing could stop and maybe one day, they will just be regular housing and everyone will have the opportunity to live in an affordable nice place.


Our team decided that the most effective strategy would be the work for rent program. We believe this because of all of the ideas listed above, the work for rent program would be the easiest to implement and would have a positive outcome on the community immediately.

The Chaire of Pierre : COTA Transit Audit


          The Chaire of Pierre started its COTA adventure on 18th and Woodruff heading North on the number 2 bus. The end goal was to arrive to Micro Center off bethel road within the same amount of time as one class period. We used the COTA trip planner app to decide on our route, ensure that the distance was over 5 miles (5.2), as well as confirm that we were completing our transfer with the correct bus routes. The app suggested that we take the number two bus north to Morse Rd, where we would then change to the number 95 bus to arrive to the final destination. It seemed simple enough.


Our group gathered at the northbound stop on High and Woodruff. This is a very crowded stop, as there was not enough space to hold the capacity of people waiting on their bus around this time. Despite the smaller size, it ultimately didn’t seem to matter considering the number 2 has so many buses on route, and generally speaking arrives very frequently, so that the large mass of people were not staying there too long. After arriving at our northbound stop, we decided not to get on the 3:55 bus so that we could observe the bus stops’ functionality. After watching two number 2 buses go by, it was time to board.

The number 2 bus line goes up and down high street all day long. The closer it is to campus and downtown, the more crowded the bus seemed to be. When we first got on, not all of us had a place to sit. However, as the bus proceeded towards Clintonville, much of the bus passengers were departing. By the time we got off there were only a handful of people left. From this, we came to the conclusion that during peak hours the buses that were traveling in more “prime” locations, such as High St. and the campus area, tend to be over-crowded which can cause a more un-enjoyable experience for COTA’s riders.



As we left our number 2 bus to prepare for our transfer to the 95 bus, we waited at a bus stop on Morse Rd. Unlike the stop that we waited at on High St., this bus had a shelter with a bench, which gave us a place to sit down while we waited for the bus arrival, as well as provided a structure to help protect us from the wind. The wait for our transfer bus was minimal, roughly 10-15 minutes. The time that the bus arrived matched with the sign at the physical bus stop, but was about 4-5 minutes later than what the app suggested. Although the app was slightly incorrect, it is important to remember that these are the peak times of rush-hour, and a slight delay in the timing is to be inevitable. The 95 bus was significantly less crowded as we only shared the bus with one person, who got off shortly after we arrived, leaving our group on the bus by ourselves.


Despite the large crowd that we were initially   the bus with, safety did not seem to be a concern for us. Considering the time of day and the fact that most people were riding to their homes after class/work, most riders seemed to be quiet, listening to music, or just simply keeping to themselves, which did allot for a better experience for all riders on board. On top of feeling safe in regards to the other passengers on board, the staff we encountered on both busses was very friendly and helpful. In respect to the equipment on the bus, there were noises that could be heard, but nothing that seemed to be too overbearing to diminish our experience on the bus.

Charlie Thompson, Heidi Cron, Adam Trimmer, Hannah Sargel, Jake Byerly, Rachel Petrosino

Charlie Thompson, Heidi Cron, Adam Trimmer, Hannah Sargel, Jake Byerly, Rachel Petrosino 

Overall, we came to the conclusion that the COTA is an efficient system, but still has room for improvements. Throughout the trip, we always had a least one group member familiar with where we were considering several of our members are from Columbus, as well as another member currently living in the Clintonville area. As we stated previously, the busses did arrive around the same time that the stops anticipated, but it would be nice to have a transit system that could have faster bus routes. One way that this could become a reality is through incorporating more express bus lines. These express bus lines would give community members a more direct route to their location, which would limit the amount of planning that riders must do to get to their final location on time.IMG_6302