The Port Takes Action to Protect Renters and Promote Affordable Single-Family Homeownership
For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2021
Out-of-town investors buying low and renting high, leaving many vulnerable to eviction
Port’s intent is to create a pathway for homeownership
Cincinnati, OH, December 8, 2021 – In an unprecedented effort to keep the American dream of home ownership alive for many Cincinnatians, The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (The Port) announced today it will purchase 194 single-family homes currently owned by an out-of-town, ‘institutional investor.’ Institutional investors are buying large numbers of single-family homes in Hamilton County and turning them into high-priced rental properties.
“These properties are attractive to investors because Hamilton County has low home values and high rents, as compared to the rest of the country,” said Laura N. Brunner, President and CEO of The Port. “These investors typically look to purchase homes in some of the County’s most disinvested neighborhoods, leaving many renters vulnerable to eviction. Very simply, these investors are more concerned with profits than they are with people,” Brunner added.
The portfolio of homes The Port will purchase is owned by Los Angeles-based Raineth Housing. Subsequent to foreclosure, these properties have been in receivership. Institutional investors in Hamilton County have been known to be substandard landlords with frequent code violations and poor property maintenance records. The Port’s intent in acquiring these homes is to create a pathway for homeownership.
“It is so important to have an organization like The Port focused on creating homeownership opportunities for current renters,” said Rachel Hastings, executive director of Price Hill Will. “These ‘institutional investors’ are fundamentally changing the landscape of single-family housing in Hamilton County, so we are relieved The Port is stepping in to purchase properties whose occupants frequently face increased rental rates, threats of eviction, and/or maintenance requests that are regularly ignored,” Hastings continued.
By purchasing these 194 rental properties, The Port intends to create homeownership opportunities for the current occupant renters through:
- Minimizing public subsidy – ideally to zero
- Assessing the qualifications of current rental tenants for homeownership
- Training and education for future homeowners by local nonprofit partners
- Maintenance and improvement of properties
- Connection to down payment assistance and other resources
- Transitioning of properties to homeownership
In order to transition these properties most effectively and efficiently into homeownership, The Port will work closely with several non-profit, community support organizations, each of which have voiced its support of this acquisition by The Port, including: Legal Aid, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), HOME Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Working in Neighborhoods (WIN), Talbert House, Price Hill Will, Sisters of Charity, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA).
“The opportunity to acquire these homes was presented very last minute,” said Sister Barbara Busch, a member of the Sisters of Charity and executive director of Working in Neighborhoods. “Hamilton County is truly blessed to have such a flexible, tolerant and highly capable organization like The Port. Without them, we would not have the opportunity to compete with these out-of-town investors,” she added.
Colliers, a real estate broker with offices in Cincinnati, will continue to provide property management of the 194 homes. Colliers has served as receiver of this portfolio of homes for the past 10 months, effectively minimizing open work order requests while also providing responsive customer service to the renters.
Additional background on ‘institutional investors:’
- In Q2 of 2021, 1 in 6 home sales in Hamilton County were by large investors.
- Most of these investors operate primarily in low to moderate income areas in Hamilton County where homeownership is vital for stability, equity, and wealth creation.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one out-of-town investor provided only limited payment options and did not grant any rent reductions to assist its tenants during the pandemic.
- Another out-of-town investor has referred to Cincinnati as an “eviction friendly place.”
See collective institutional investors’ property location map and neighborhood impact list in appendices.
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://cincinnatiport.org.
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Vice President of Communications and Marketing, The Port