U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development
Consolidated Plan Contact
The City of Barberton is located adjacent to the southwestern border of Akron, Ohio. Barberton
has traditionally been known as an industrial community. The city, founded along the Ohio and
Erie canal, encouraged manufacturers to locate and expand their industries in Barberton. The
trend continued until the 1970s when the manufacturing industries started downsizing along with
the U. S. and world economies. Over the past five years, the manufacturing industries have
seen a minor resurgence with small industries opening or relocating in Barberton.
Barberton's 1995 Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community
development in the city. This document summarizes that plan so citizens in the community can
have an overview of Barberton's housing and community development needs, and the coming
year's projects to address them. The Consolidated Plan includes a one-year action plan for
spending approximately $1 million of Community Development Block Grants(CDBG) along with
HOME Investment Partnership Program funds and program income.
Citizen task forces were formed to help define the city's priority needs. The task forces were
separated into three group: housing, economic development, and public improvements. The
groups consisted of representatives from the public assisted housing authorities, neighborhood
target areas, non-profit housing agencies, private industry, commercial industry, commerce,
education, public officials, and the city health, building, engineering, and utility departments.
Needs were defined based upon data including Barberton's age characteristics, educational
attainment, homeless population, population threatened with homelessness, housing needs of
children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities and Barberton's overall housing status. Maps
were used to help geographically identify the areas of greatest need for federally assisted
projects. From the information provided, needs for housing, economic development, and public
improvements were identified. The results were used to form the five-year strategic plan and
the one-year action plan.
Two citizens meetings were held after being publicized in the local newspaper. The first meeting
was held before the publication of the Consolidated Plan, along with local citizens and the task
forces. A copy of the Consolidated Plan was made available at the Barberton Library for public
review and comment before the second meeting. The second meeting was held after a
summary of the Consolidated Plan was published in the local newspaper. The Consolidated
Plan was adopted by City Council on May 8, 1995. See Map 1 for Barberton and its vicinity.
According to the 1990 Census, the population of Barberton is 27,623. The population has
continued to decline since 1960 when the city's peak population was 33,805.
The U. S. Census reports that Barberton's senior citizens make up 25% of the population, which
is higher than any of its neighboring communities. It also has more children than neighboring
communities as well, with 17% of the total population being 18 years or under. As a result, the
median age in Barberton is just about average for Summit County.
According to the 1990 Census, just over 5% of Barberton's population is African American. This
percentage is less than the county average and only about one fifth of Akron. Hispanics are less
common in Barberton than in neighboring communities, only .3% in 1990. See Map 4 for the
racial distribution for the City of Barberton.
Sixty-nine percent of Barberton residents have completed high school. This is 10% lower than
the county average. Less than 8% of Barbertonians graduated from college, compared with an
average of nearly 20% countywide.
The median family income in 1990 was $21,688 and per capita was $10,366. The Census
reports that 4,626 persons were below the poverty level which translates to almost 17% of the
total population. The Census also reports that 15% of families are below the poverty level. See
Map 3 for areas of unemployment and poverty in the City of Barberton.
In 1990 a total of 11,171 households were counted. Approximately 6,000 of those households
are considered low income, meaning the occupants of the households make less than 80% of
the countywide Median Household Income. The Median Household Income throughout the
county, in 1994, was determined to be $41,300.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
As noted above, the population of the city has been steadily declining since the 1960s. However,
the rate of decline has slowed in the past several years, and looks as if it may stabilize.
According to the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, unemployment rates have gone down.
In 1983 almost 15% of the population was unemployed. By 1994 the unemployment rate
dropped to 7% as compared to the county's rate which was 5%. The 7% unemployment rate for
Barberton was its lowest since 1989. See map 3 for areas of unemployment in the City of
The city's tax base lowered along with the manufacturing industries closing or downsizing in the
1970s and 80s. As a result, much of the city infrastructure has suffered. Many streets and
sidewalks are in poor condition due to infrastructure that has not been replaced. Much of the city
is still in need of storm drainage along streets. This has caused problems with flooding in
several areas of the city.
3,769 families, or 34% or the total number of Barberton's households, have very low incomes
defined to be below 50% of the area median income. Renter households in the very low income
category are dominated by small family households (47%) and elderly one and two member
households (30%). There are 1,629 very low income home owners in the city. This represents
23% of all home owners. Of the very low income households, 4% are large family households,
18% small family households, and 64% are elderly.
Indicators of need include the degree to which a family's housing expenses result in a financial
burden. Cost burden means that a family pays in excess of 30% of their income for housing
expenses. 47% of elderly renter households in the very low income group are cost burdened,
while 73% of small families and 75% of the large families in the very low income renter group are
cost burdened. 34% of the very low income home owners are cost burdened compared to 66%
of the renters.
2,391 households, or 21% of all Barberton households, have incomes between 51% and 80% of
the area median income. Small family renters are the dominant household type in the low
income group (47%). Elderly renters make up 18% and large family renters only 8%. There are
1,471 low income home owners in the city, of which, 42% are elderly.
Low income renter households experience cost burden at a rate of 15%, while 40% of elderly
renter households are cost burdened. Only 8% of the low income home owners experience a
Housing Market Conditions
The 1990 Census identifies 12,009 total year-round housing units in the city with 11,082 of them
occupied and 927 vacant. The number of owner occupied housing units in 1980 was 7,308; this
number decreased by 3% in 1990 to 7,121. Of the total number of occupied housing units in
1990, owner occupied units make up 64%.
Barberton has more old housing and less new housing in relation to its total housing stock.
Approximately 37% of the dwelling units in Barberton are a half-century old or older. Land for
developing new houses is scarce in Barberton since the city has not been annexing land from
neighboring townships. Therefore, little new construction has happened in recent years. Only
3.4% of the city's housing stock was built between 1980 and 1990. Over the past four years new
housing construction has added only 185 residential structures. The approximate average value
of these units was $86,500.
Affordable Housing Needs
There is a need in Barberton to upgrade substandard housing units for low income and very low
income renters, of which there are approximately 2,500 units in the city. 54% of all very low
income home owners have housing problems, and 37% of Barberton's housing was built over 50
There is also a need to increase the supply of affordable housing available to low and very low
income households. The vacancy rates in the city for owner and renters are low meaning there
is a demand for additional units. Also, 66%of very low income renters, and 34% of very low
income owners are cost burdened.
Home ownership opportunities in Barberton need to be expanded for low and very low income
renters. This is evidenced by the large percentage of rental properties in Barberton as compared
to other neighboring communities. Between 60% and 80% of the low and very low income
households experience cost burden and likely need assistance for home ownership.
There is a need to maintain availability of rental assistance for low and very low income
households. Of the number of renter households in the city, 41% have some sort of housing
problem. 73% of the very low income renters have a cost burden greater than 30% of their
income. 54% of the very low income group have a similar cost burden.
A homeless count completed in March of 1995 showed that there were 21 homeless adults in
Barberton. Of course this number may fluctuate between seasons. Six were reported to be
homeless because of mental illness, and 10 reported homeless because of alcohol or drug
abuse. The count was conducted by the Homeless Outreach Staff of Community Support
Services who makes contact with homeless persons to help provide assistance. There are no
emergency shelters in Barberton; however, a range of services, facilities and programs have
been developed within the county to respond to the needs of the homeless.
Throughout Barberton, area churches and the Community Action Agency provide a variety of
services to the homeless and those at risk of being homeless. Providers include the Barberton
Community Action Council, Salvation Army, Barberton Seventh Day Adventist Service Center,
First Presbyterian Church and Emmanuel Christian Assembly.
Public and Assisted Housing Needs
According to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), there are 8,000 applicants on
waiting lists for housing assistance. Of these persons 2,280 have applied for Section 8. The list
is short for elderly; however, it is extremely long for large families. The list is a countywide list
and the representation from Barberton in unknown.
AMHA's housing preference policy considers a family for preference if it is living in substandard
housing, is involuntarily displaced, or paying more than 50% of gross income for rent and utilities.
Barberton contracts with Fair Housing Advocates Association (FHAA) to provide information on
housing issues, investigate housing complaints, and educate the public on fair housing practices.
The city has also contracted with FHAA to complete an analysis of impediments to fair housing
choices. This analysis as of yet has not been completed.
An estimated 8,473 housing units in Barberton contain lead-based paint. Since 1992 the
Barberton Health Department screened 1,806 children for elevated blood-lead levels. Out of
those children, 133 or 7% revealed high levels. In 1993 the city adopted a lead poisoning
hazards and abatement ordinance to augment the lead screening program already in existence.
Community Development Needs
Priority community development issues within Barberton includes supporting economic
development throughout the city. Both downtown and the Wooster Road Corridor are areas of
the city to be focused on for economic development assistance. Barberton Community
Development Corporation, the city's economic development subrecipient, uses CDBG funds to
make economic development loans to businesses and industries throughout the city. Current
efforts are underway to use CDBG money in helping to preserve some historic barns from O.C.
Barber's farm for future development. As part of the city's Capital Improvement Program, CDBG
money is being used to help pay for engineering and match State Issue II money in several of
seven neighborhood target areas in Barberton.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Vision for Change
Priorities which were identified for the Consolidated Plan ultimately stemmed from Barberton's
Strategic Plan, which was completed in 1990. The Strategic Plan establishes policy by which all
future goals of the city may be implemented. Goals within the Consolidated Plan all work toward
fulfilling objectives in the Strategic Plan. The following mission statements are from the Strategic
Plan, and are the overall goals that the Consolidated Plan works toward.
- To improve the quality of Barberton's neighborhoods by upgrading existing housing,
encouraging new housing and coordinating capital improvements.
- To develop a stronger economic base by attracting new and diversified business
investment while retaining and supporting expansion of existing businesses in Barberton
- To ensure the transportation system and infrastructure meet the needs of Barberton
residents and businesses.
- To establish a program to present Barberton as a safe, progressive, friendly and
- Maintain existing stock of affordable housing through programs including housing
rehabilitation, code enforcement, and promoting health and safety against lead-based
- Increase neighborhood viability through improving appearance of properties, and razing
unsafe structures throughout Barberton's neighborhoods.
- Expand home ownership opportunities for low and moderate income households through
providing down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, or through a lease-purchase
- Increase the supply of decent, safe and affordable housing available to low and moderate
income households through new construction of in-fill housing.
- Maintain availability of Rental Assistance for low income households by continuing to
work with AMHA to accommodate assisted housing and rental assistance to low income
persons, and by providing equal opportunity in housing and investigation services through
Fair Housing Advocates Association.
Non-Housing Community Development Priorities
- Coordinate public improvement projects such as improving infrastructure in areas of the
city which have substandard levels of service, and improving traffic flow throughout the
city by conducting a transportation study.
- Increase Economic Development by providing direct assistance to new and expanding
businesses in Barberton through Barberton Community Development Corporation, by
redeveloping under-utilized industrial properties and make them available to attract new
businesses, and by creating an information clearinghouse to assist in marketing land use.
- Improve non-housing neighborhood activities through the establishment of a housing
advisory board, and the completion of a parks master plan to assist in ultimately
improving citywide parks and recreation facilities.
- Preserve historic structures within the city to continue in giving the city a unique identity.
Structures include the Anna Dean Barns, and buildings in the downtown local historic
The antipoverty strategy for Barberton is, in part, related to one year activities in the Consolidated
Plan. Strategies in the one year housing section aim at reducing the number of households with
incomes below the poverty line. Another strategy which is to provide direct assistance to new
and expanding businesses, must create new jobs for low income persons for each business
receiving federal funds. Barberton also advocates economic development strategies that
encourages job training or apprenticeships, and integration of social and housing services for
households below the poverty level.
Housing and Community Development Resources
Resources that the city uses to carry out the plan are received from the Federal, State, and Local
levels. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for use in housing and economic
development programs are awarded to the city from the Federal level, HOME partnership funds
for use in housing programs are awarded to the city from the State level. City general funds are
used for programs such as rental inspections and paint rebates.
Coordination of Strategic Plan
The Barberton Planning Department has been designated as the lead agency for coordinating
and administering the Consolidated Plan. The institutional structure through which the plan is
implemented includes public, private, and non-profit organizations. Two non-profit organizations
are subrecipients of CDBG funds; Neighborhood Conservation Services which is the housing
non-profit and Barberton Community Development Corporation who acts as the city's economic
development non-profit. Private lenders offer a variety of special mortgage and home
improvement loans for lower income households. Responsibility for administering programs
related to the CDBG and HOME programs is the City of Barberton Planning Department.
ONE YEAR ACTION PLAN
Description of Key Projects
- Housing Rehabilitation
Neighborhood Conservation Services will oversee the rehabilitation of approximately 40
housing units in targeted neighborhoods in the city. Those neighborhoods are depicted
on Map 2.
- Code Enforcement
The Barberton Building Department carries out a rental inspection program and
anticipates 800 housing units will be inspected for housing code violations in the coming
year. The rental inspections are conducted in targeted neighborhoods with a high
percentage of rental units. These neighborhoods are shown on Map 2. City-wide
housing inspections are conducted on a complaint/referral basis.
Using a combination of prior year's CDBG funds and city general fund the Building
Department will coordinate the demolition of approximately ten condemned structures in
different neighborhoods in the city.
- First Time Home Buyer Assistance
Acquisition Rehabilitation Program -- Neighborhood Conservation Services administers
a first time home buyer program on a scattered site basis throughout the city. This
program offers down payment assistance and low interest loans for rehabilitation to first
time home buyers. Approximately 20 households will be assisted through this program in
the coming year.
- New Housing Construction
In-fill New Construction Program -- Neighborhood Conservation Services administers
this program on a scattered site basis throughout the city. It is a continuation of an earlier
funded program, six units are expected to be completed this year.
- Public Improvements
Application for State Issue II funds was made for a neighborhood with substandard levels
of public improvements. CDBG funds would be used for matching funds to complete
installation of permanent streets, sidewalks and storm sewer. See Map 2 for the location
of this project.
- Economic Development
The city plans to continue funding the Barberton Community Development Corporation
which provides loans to business creating jobs within the city. It is estimated that 17
businesses will be assisted this year.
- Historic Preservation
The city will provide financial assistance to property owners of structures listed on the
National Register of Historic Places. The funds will be used to correct items which have
been determined by the Barberton Building Department to be substandard thus protecting
Barberton's historic resources.
- Commercial Facade Program
The city operates a revolving loan program which offers low interest loans for facade
rehabilitation in order to improve the overall climate in the commercial areas of the city
particularly the downtown.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income
areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income
areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
For more information on the City of Barberton's Consolidated Plan contact:
Mr. Fred Guerra, Planning Director
City Planning Commission
576 West Park Avenue
Barberton, Ohio 44203
Return to Ohio's Consolidated Plans.