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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.

Cincinnati Plans $34 Million Loan Pool To Finance Affordable Housing

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell
Cincinnati City Hall

Cincinnati officials will apply for $34 million to establish an affordable housing loan pool. Council voted Wednesday to approve a pair of ordinances that also establish an oversight board for the loan pool and the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The HUD-funded loan pool would offer low-interest financing to developers building or rehabilitating affordable housing. The Cincinnati Development Fund, a nonprofit lending group, will oversee both the trust fund and the loan pool.

The new Housing Advisory Board will establish housing policy priorities for the city, including terms for the loan pool.

"The expectation is they would help inform our agreement with CDF on what those loan parameters would be," said Assistant City Solicitor Kaitlyn Geiger. "We'd certainly be looking to their expertise to guide that drafting process."

The request for $34 million is part of an amendment to the city of Cincinnati's 2021-2024 Consolidated Plan/Annual Action Plan submitted to HUD. Geiger says the city is likely to be granted the full amount. Cincinnati has previously operated a loan pool funded through this HUD provision.

Mayor John Cranley will appoint 11 people to the advisory board, including a resident eligible to receive housing assistance from the city, and representatives from nonprofit and for-profit housing developers.

"It highlights specific subject-matter experts, bringing their perspective to these priorities and informing the elected body about what those priorities are, how best to deploy programs or resources to meet those objectives," said Morgan Sutter, deputy director of Community and Economic Development.

The ordinances passed Wednesday are unrelated to Issue 3 on the May ballot. They are the first of several actions recommended by City Manager Paula Boggs-Muething last month.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.