Public/Private partnership creates affordable housing in West End

Project demonstrates how collaboration can create mixed-rate housing and preserve neighborhood character

CINCINNATI – As development continues in Cincinnati’s historic West End neighborhood, residents and housing advocates have been working to ensure that creation and preservation of affordable housing is part of the equation. A set of historic rowhouses in Cincinnati’s West End is being redeveloped as a combination of affordable and market-rate, rental and homeownership housing – a mix that is crucial to the neighborhood’s vitality for long-time and new residents.

Six historic rowhouses on Baymiller Street, that were vacant and deteriorating, were stabilized in 2018 by the Hamilton County Landbank, a managed entity of The Port, in partnership with the City of Cincinnati. The City identified the Baymiller properties as ideal candidates for stabilization through the Landbank’s Historic Structure Stabilization Program, which works to preserve buildings in danger of collapse or demolition for future reuse and redevelopment. The Landbank worked to transfer three properties to Habitat for Humanity and Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses for affordable homeownership.

The homes at 1803 and 1807 Baymiller are being rehabbed by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (HFHGC). HFHGC will work with qualified home buyers, giving them an opportunity for home ownership in this historic part of town. Habitat’s professional construction staff will lead the work, supported by skilled subcontractors, the homebuyers, and volunteers (following COVID safety protocols). The scope of work includes family selection, first-time homebuyer education, and financing for each home. Funding for these two homes has been provided by Procter & Gamble, a longtime Habitat partner, donors to HFHGC’s first Episcopal Build (see complete list attached), Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the City of Cincinnati.

The home at 1805 Baymiller is being developed by Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses as an affordable rental unit, with Habitat as the general contractor. This work is supported by FC Cincinnati, the Landbank, Cincinnati Development Fund, and Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The remaining three rowhouses are under private or Hamilton County Landbank ownership.

This collaboration responds to the critical need for affordable housing in the West End, long identified by West End by community organizations and planners and in the West End Housing Study led by The Port and Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and released in 2019. For example, the project dovetails with three of the housing goals of the West End Speaks Plan (2016): the condition of all West End properties is improved; the quality of affordable units in the West End is upgraded; the West End supports the expansion of homeownership in the neighborhood.

"It is exciting to finally begin this development and we look forward to continuing this work to provide price-appropriate developments in the community. We would like to thank all the partners and funders involved and we look forward to more equitable developments in the future. Thank you to LISC Cincinnati, Community Building Institute and HomeBase, which are dedicated supporters of our organization and CDC efforts. We also want to thank Sanders Development Group for encouraging Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and Habitat to be creative and collaborate on this project,” said Tia Brown, Community Engagement Director, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses.

“P&G partners with Habitat for Humanity to help families achieve their home ownership dreams through our resources, our employees, and our brands,” said Barbara Hauser, Senior Community Relations Manager, P&G. “By providing products, education and solutions for home care, P&G is helping Habitat families create clean and healthy homes, which is more important than ever before.”

“Our participation in this project would not be possible without the collaboration among the City, Port, and Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses,” said HFHGC President/CEO Ed Lee. “This project also brings together diverse and generous funding sources in order to complete new homes for these new West End homebuyers.” Donations of products and services will also be crucial to the construction of these homes, including a gift of cabinets, countertops, and installation by Sims-Lohman, staircases by Schutte Stair, products from P&G, and many more.

“These three properties are each great examples of the Landbank’s unique ability to proactively acquire and stabilize long-neglected and vacant properties,” said Laura N. Brunner, President & CEO of The Port. “We then collaboratively work with our community partners to bring these properties back to their best and most equitable use.”

Contacts:

Beth Benson, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati
beth.benson@habitatcincinnati.org, 513-520-0949

Tia Brown, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
tia.brown@7hillsnh.com, 513-407-5362

Tom Millikin, The Port
TMillikin@cincinnatiport.org, 513-543-1724

About Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses:

Since 1961, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses (Neighborhood House) has been serving Cincinnati’s West End Community as a social services resource and community gathering space. The Neighborhood House is located at 901 Findlay Street in an 18,000 square foot building. It is the safe-haven and second home for approximately 2,500 – 3,000 at-risk children, teens, families, seniors, and disadvantaged citizens annually. In 2015, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses was named as the lead PlaceMatters agency and official Community Development Corporation (CDC) of the West End.

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati (http://habitatcincinnati.org/) is a non-profit Christian housing ministry that seeks to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Since 1986, HFHGC has built, renovated, or repaired 670+ homes throughout a nine-county Tristate region, including Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn and Ohio counties in Indiana. It has also helped build more than 1,000 homes in Cambodia, El Salvador, Kenya, and Nepal. Habitat is dedicated locally and globally to construct, rehabilitate, and preserve homes; advocate for fair and just housing policies; and provide training and resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

About The Port:

The Port was formed in 2001 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. Partnering with the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, The Port works to redevelop manufacturing and residential communities to build the foundation of job creation and livable, viable communities where residents can experience economic prosperity. For additional information, please visit http://www.cincinnatiport.org.

Visit The Port’s social media channels:
  • Twitter: @CincinnatiPort
  • Instagram: @cincinnati_port
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CincinnatiPort/, @CincinnatiPort
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/port-of-greater-cincinnati-development-authority/

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Note: For follow up stories and photography as the project progresses, please contact Beth Benson at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati.