Developing the Future | Career, Business, & Home
Whether finding a new home for a major manufacturing firm, working to launch a new company, or even reinvest in rehabilitating a home, the City of Wooster offers the perfect place to live, grow, and thrive. Working with our partners across the City, Wayne County, and the State of Ohio, Wooster offers businesses and residents a unique set of tools to build a prosperous future.
Economic development, investing in the future, starts at home. The City of Wooster offers tools designed to help individual homeowners, or those seeking to become homeowners, invest in themselves and build a stronger financial future. Providing real estate tax savings, the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) program provides opportunities for property owners reinvesting in their one and two-family homes within Wooster's historic neighborhoods. Providing forgivable loans and small grants, the City also works to achieve grants to assist low-income homeowners with emergency repairs through its CHIP Program.
The Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP) offers Ohioans an opportunity to earn professional certifications for a wide variety of skills, from information technology specializations such as CompTIA Network+, to basic machining and welding, to web development, Ohio's microcredential program provides advanced training, both online and in-person, to help residents grow their careers. Available through the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation, IMAP is free of charge to Ohioans who are partially unemployed, totally unemployed, or low-income. IMAP training providers, which includes Ashland University and several online providers, will cover all tuition, fees, and additional costs to help residents learn new skills and earn a credential that can start or expand a career.
Wooster's CHIP program offers grants and 100% forgivable loans to help homeowners, landlords, and first-time homebuyers throughout Wooster and Wayne County repair their homes and neighborhoods. CHIP stands for Community Housing Impact and Preservation. The City of Wooster applies for and manages the grant on behalf of the entire county, with help from the Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority. The program is available to moderate-income households. (Select "Access Individual Income Limits Areas") Nearly 300 homes within the City of Wooster have been repaired and brought back up to code, helping families preserve housing opportunities while strengthening the quality and property values of our neighborhoods. CHIP brings back federal tax dollars to support our community and reduces the need for local public assistance by empowering families to invest in their neighborhoods.
CRA provides property owners in and around Wooster's Downtown area with a 100% tax exemption on the increase in value resulting from home construction projects, including additions, major rehabilitations, and new construction. The program is available to any Wooster homeowner, landlord, or developer working to rehabilitate or even rebuild a single and two-family home within Wooster’s designated Community Reinvestment Area. Properties must legally be classified by the County Auditor as single-family or duplex to qualify. For projects exceeding $2,500.00 in the Downtown area, property owners may receive a 100 percent Tax Abatement for 10 years on the improved value of the home, or 100% for 12 years on new construction projects. (Projects north of Long Road are eligible to receive abatements of 50% for 10 years, or 12 years if LEED certified.) Learn more below.
Jonathan Millea AICP, CEcD
Community and Economic Development Coordinator