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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.

Council Member Suggests $50M Of Federal Stimulus Go To Affordable Housing Fund

jan-michele lemon kearney
City of Cincinnati
Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney at a recent council meeting

A Cincinnati council member wants the city to consider putting federal money from the latest COVID-19 stimulus plan in the affordable housing trust fund.

Cincinnati is set to get more than $290 million from the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law last week.

Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney filed a motion asking for a report to determine the feasibility of putting $50 million of that into the affordable housing fund.

"We've had this problem - it didn't start with COVID, but COVID has made it a lot worse," Kearney said. "A lot of people have lost their jobs, lost their homes."

The fund currently has about $1.5 million, and no dedicated funding source.

"This $50 million would be a one-time donation, but we are looking at what we can do next so that there's ongoing funding," Kearney said.

Kearney's motion is unrelated to a charter amendment put forward by advocates that would require an annual allocation of $50 million into the housing fund. City officials have strongly opposed that amendment, saying it would require hundreds of layoffs. Voters will decide in the May election. 

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.