Becca Costello

Local Government Reporter

Ways to Connect

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

Despite some concerns about moving too quickly, Cincinnati City Council Wednesday unanimously approved plans to spend more than $134 million in federal stimulus. All the ordinances passed so far come from the spending plan proposed by the mayor and city manager.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council Member Betsy Sundermann is seeking a suspension for fellow member Wendell Young. The process is possible under a charter amendment voters approved Tuesday, which Sundermann had proposed be put on the ballot.

cincinnati city hall
Becca Costello / WVXU

Cincinnati voters overwhelmingly approved a pair of charter amendments related to corruption on City Council. Issues 1 and 2 each got more than 75% approval in the primary election.

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

The affordable housing charter amendment on Cincinnati's Tuesday ballot failed with about 73% of the vote in opposition. Issue 3 would have required the city to put at least $50 million in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund every year with no end date.

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

Cincinnati is getting more in federal stimulus than initially expected, but estimated budget deficits have also increased. The Budget and Finance Committee gave initial approval to spend more than $100 million at a contentious meeting Monday.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati voters on Tuesday will choose the final two candidates for mayor and decide the fate of three charter amendments. But most of Hamilton County has no primary election May 4.

affordable housing
Pixabay

This week WVXU reported on new data about the affordable housing gap in Cincinnati. The story sparked a lot of questions about how different reports can be compared and how Issue 3 would affect the housing shortage.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council Member Wendell Young is pleading not guilty to a tampering with records charge. Young filed the plea in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

john cranley
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It could be months or years before money in a new Cincinnati loan fund is distributed to developers working on affordable housing. City officials are still applying for the $34 million U.S. from Housing and Urban Development that will provide the bulk of the loan pool.

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

Temporary eviction protections are now in place in Cincinnati, but council voted against a proposal Wednesday to make the change permanent. Council Member Greg Landsman introduced both ordinances after the Hamilton County Municipal Court decided to no longer enforce a national eviction moratorium.

cincinnati skyline
Ilyce Meckler / WVXU

New federal data offers the most recent estimate of the affordable housing gap in Cincinnati. A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows a deficit of nearly 30,000 affordable and available units in Hamilton County — including more than 19,000 in Cincinnati — for extremely low-income renter households.

Courtesy: Gun Safety Consortium

Cincinnati and seven other Ohio cities are part of an effort to encourage the production of technology to make guns more secure. The Gun Safety Consortium is requesting proposals for "smart gun" products like quick-access gun locks and safes, and systems to enhance traceability of guns.  

cincinnati city hall
Becca Costello / WVXU

Most respondents to a survey about how Cincinnati should spend federal stimulus identified affordable housing as a top priority. The survey from Council Member David Mann's office has received more than 1,100 responses so far.

david mann
Citicable / City of Cincinnati

A Cincinnati City Council committee Monday declined to vote on four ordinances from Mayor John Cranley that would appropriate federal stimulus money. The city is expected to receive about $290 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Green cincinnati plan
City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati is on track to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050, a goal set by the Green Cincinnati Plan in 2018.

cincinnati city hall
Becca Costello / WVXU

Cincinnatians can attend City Council and committee meetings in-person again, starting Monday. City Hall has been closed to the public since November due to the pandemic.

city hall
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnatians have until Monday at 9 a.m. to sign up for virtual public comment at a hearing about federal stimulus funding. Council members will hear from residents about how the city should spend $290 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

commission on women and girls
Hamilton County

Hamilton County Commissioners passed five gender equity resolutions Thursday night, including a commitment to address gender- and race-based pay inequity in county employment. The resolutions are based on recommendations in an annual report from the Commission on Women and Girls.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Issues 1 and 2 on the May ballot in Cincinnati aim to address city council members who are indicted on federal charges related to their jobs on council.

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

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.

western hills viaduct
City of Cincinnati

Full funding for the Western Hills Viaduct replacement could be secured by the end of the year. The $335 million project is about $210 million short.

Citicable / City of Cincinnati

Nearly 80 people spoke to Cincinnati council members Monday about how the city should spend $290 million in federal stimulus. It was the first of at least two public hearings at the Budget and Finance Committee.

vote
John Minchillo / AP

Cincinnati voters will see three charter amendments on the ballot in May's election, including one brought by petitions from housing advocates. Issue 3 would require the city to put $50 million a year into an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

Cincinnatians speaking to the Economic Development Reform Panel Friday say it's time for big changes.

The panel was formed in response to three council members indicted on corruption charges last year. The members are accused of accepting money in exchange for positive votes on development projects.

Maslow's Army

The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to approve new funding for the Maslow's Army day shelter in Queensgate. The unanimous vote comes after shelter staff said they'd have to shut down without more funding.

timothy thomas district 1 protest
Tom Uhlman / AP

A 2001 lawsuit led to what's now known as the Collaborate Agreement among the ACLU, the Cincinnati Black United Front, the city of Cincinnati and the Fraternal Order of Police. It required police to adopt community problem oriented policing, including the establishment of one of the first independent police oversight boards in the country: the Citizen Complaint Authority (CCA).

fifth third shooting
John Minchillo / AP

The Citizen Complaint Authority is recommending changes to Cincinnati Police policies related to a suspect's mental health. A new report from the independent oversight board shows the majority of people subject to a recent officer shooting were likely experiencing a mental health crisis.

2021 cincinnati mayoral candidates
All courtesy of the candidates

Early voting begins Tuesday, April 6, for the May election in Hamilton County. On the ballot in Cincinnati is a non-partisan primary for candidates running for mayor.

cincinnati city hall
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

Cincinnatians can let city officials know how they think federal stimulus funding should be spent in an online survey. Council Member David Mann says he wants public feedback on the city administration's plan to spend the $290 million expected from the American Rescue Plan Act.

windows
Pixabay

The Cincinnati City Manager's office wants to hire an independent group to analyze how much affordable housing the city needs. Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman says he's concerned the information currently available is outdated.

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