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Affordable housing has become a hot-button issue in Greater Cincinnati over the last few years, garnering media attention, promises from elected officials and no small amount of debate. Here's everything you need to know about affordable housing in Cincinnati.

Hamilton County Awards $1M+ For Affordable Housing Projects

logan towers housing project
Planning and Development
Hamilton County
Hamilton County awarded funding to Talbert House for Logan Towers in 2018 and 2019. The project is expected to be complete by August 2021.

Hamilton County officials have approved a little over a million dollars in grants for affordable housing developments this year. The funds are going to four groups to build a total 146 affordable units.

Community Development Administrator Joy Pierson says not many developers applied this year, partly because of the pandemic.

"There's an increase in costs for construction, difficulty getting contractors, difficulty in changes with tax credits," Pierson said. "There were changes in the federal law as recently as December 26, and our deadline was, like, right after."

The county was unable to award about $117,000 for 2021. Pierson says that money will roll over into the program for next year.

This year's projects are for housing in Lincoln Heights, Woodlawn and Springdale.

Since 2016, the county has awarded a total of about $6.3 million for 625 affordable housing units. More than half of those are now occupied, and another hundred units are expected to be complete by the end of this year. 

"The investment of $6.3 million has brought $143 million of investment for affordable housing here in the county," Pierson said.

Experts say the county needs about 40,000 new affordable units.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.