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New construction homes are rare in Lincoln Heights. Two are now on the market

Amid a booming housing market with high sale prices, the Village of Lincoln Heights is celebrating four newly-built affordable homes. The project is part of an effort to increase housing options and add to the village's small tax base.

Lincoln Heights has long struggled with a tax base much smaller than it should be because previous county leaders blocked the African American community from incorporating for years.

Mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey says bringing in new residents is a key part of revitalizing the community.

"Throughout the last 10 years (we've) seen a decline in the value of our homes," Kinsey-Mumphrey said. "So with this, different entities throughout the community showing renovation and improvements — it's a start to get us where we need to be 10 years from now."

The Homesteading and Urban Redevelopment Corporation, a nonprofit arm of The Port, built the homes with a $300,000 subsidy from Hamilton County's federal HUD funding.

HURC Director Deborah Robb says building affordably isn't possible without such subsidies, especially with recent supply chain, labor, and inflation issues.

"For instance, the doors that we purchased on these houses, we bought them in bulk prior to the prices going up," Robb said. "Just within one month of buying them, the cost went up over $1,000 per house."

The village owns dozens of lots where other homes could be built. CEO of The Port Laura Brunner says this is the beginning of a relationship with village leaders to develop more housing.

"We've invested about $250,000 in each of these homes, so we've put a million dollars here in this corner of Lincoln Heights," Brunner said. "They're affordable, they're in great shape, (and) the homeowners will be able to move in worry-free."

The four houses have three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and an attached garage.

Two are under construction and expected to be completed by the end of summer. The other two are ready to be listed this week at $175,000.

Buyers must make no more than 80% of the Median Family Income for the Cincinnati metro area; a family of four with total income of $68,300 would be eligible.

An open house is scheduled for Sunday, April 3 from 12 to 2 p.m. at 868 Jackson St.

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.