Construction began last month in Columbus on the first multifamily housing project in Ohio financed with the proceeds of a tax-exempt state revenue bond issue.

Dick Everhart, executive director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, said $2.3 million of mortgage revenue bonds, secured by the Federal Housing Administration, were issued by the agency in June for the project.

The issuance was the first since Ohio voters in November 1990 approved a constitutional amendment that expanded the ability of the state and local governments to issue bonds for housing, he added. The amendment, called Issue One, made housing a public purpose in the state.

Mr. Everhart said that before the amendment's passage, the only multifamily housing for which the state could issue bonds was for senior-citizen housing.

He said the 68-unit apartment complex, which is being built by a nonprofit development corporation, would target female and minority heads of households as tenants, regardless of their age.

"This is the first bona fide use of what Issue One was intended to do, that is to build new housing units for families," Mr. Everhart said.

On the local level, Issue One extended the use of general obligation, mortgage revenue, and industrial development bonds for housing purposes to cities and counties.

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