The Port Receives Impact Loan from Greater Cincinnati Foundation
$1,000,000 investment from region’s leading community foundation establishes a new loan fund
to accelerate housing development
CINCINNATI – The Port today announced it has received a $1,000,000 impact investment from Greater Cincinnati Foundation to establish Greater Cincinnati Neighborhoods Housing Revitalization Loan Fund – a bold new step to accelerate neighborhood redevelopment.
The Port will use the Housing Revitalization Loan Fund primarily to rehab foreclosed, vacant residential properties into homes ready for sale. Two non-profit organizations managed by the Port – The Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (Hamilton County Landbank) and the Homesteading and Urban Redevelopment Corporation – are eligible borrowers. Both have a track record of acquiring abandoned properties, rehabbing and selling them at a range of prices. Housing is a vital component of The Port’s strategic vision to revitalize neighborhoods holistically.
“I am honored to receive this incredibly important seed investment from Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” according to Laura N. Brunner, Port President and CEO. “I am especially grateful for the relationship we have built with GCF, sharing ideas and working collaboratively to break down barriers that perpetuate poverty and lack of access to opportunity.”
As a catalytic development agency, The Port makes subsidy investments to reestablish conditions that attract private investment back into neighborhoods. In just five years, we have achieved positive outcomes for several Cincinnati neighborhoods by turning dozens of vacant, blighted properties into revitalized homes. These homes have sold quickly and it’s clear there is more demand. To be able to serve more neighborhoods, we need to have access to a wider capital pool to finance the redevelopment of homes.
“We are excited to support the Port’s work with this new-to-market financing tool that can rapidly be deployed to rebuild homes,” said Ellen M. Katz, President and CEO of Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Access to good-quality housing is a lynchpin of neighborhood stability.”
In 2015, The Port Board of Directors announced Vision 2022 as its redevelopment platform to revitalize neighborhoods and industrial sites and expand its public finance program. This strategy has increasingly focused on barriers to opportunity, including the growing housing affordability crisis in Hamilton County and concern over displacement of legacy residents in neighborhoods undergoing revitalization.
The Housing Revitalization Loan Fund will enable The Port to purchase, rehabilitate and then resell a greater number of properties than we are able to do with current funding. Our first neighborhood of focused investment was Evanston.
The housing crisis left Evanston with more than 300 foreclosures and 200 vacant properties. Since 2013, The Port, in conjunction with the Hamilton County Landbank, has acquired more than 150 properties in Evanston, administered $1,477,000 in grant funding to demolish 24 properties; and rehabbed 27 vacant homes for sale, restarting a market for private home sales after nine years without one.
About The Port
The Port is a quasi-public agency that is the principal real estate and development finance specialist serving Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. The Port both initiates redevelopment and manages projects on behalf of local governments and private institutions to improve property value and promote job creation. Our goal is to be inclusive of race, income, and age in housing and business development. More information: www.cincinnatiport.org.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.