New Study Says West End Is Ripe For Displacement

Sep 19, 2019

Longtime West End residents could be priced out of the neighborhood.

A new West End Housing study says household incomes and affordable rentals aren’t matching up, which creates a neighborhood ripe for displacement.

Housing advocates and FC Cincinnati have gone back and forth for months about the impact the team's new stadium will have on longtime residents.

“The West End Housing Study findings underscore the concerns in the West End," The Port President and CEO Laura Brunner says in a press release. "Which include an urgency to protect low and moderate-income residents from displacement; stabilize existing housing; proactively create opportunity for economic mobility; and attract new capital investment and financing sources into the neighborhood from mission-aligned community finance institutions and developers."

The study shows West End needs affordable and market rate housing, particularly 511 rental units. There is also a need for 148 homeowner-occupied units at market rate.

FCC funded $100,000 to study the neighborhood's housing issue and community engagement sessions, which is required in its Community Benefits Agreement.

"This study highlights what we have believed: that the West End has experienced disinvestment for decades," says President and General Manager of FC Cincinnati Jeff Berding. "FCC is proud to invest more than $250 million in private money in the neighborhood. The West End stadium will bring much-needed redevelopment and jobs."

In previous WVXU reporting, Berding said once the stadium opens, they will hire security, concessions and stadium operations. But he did not specify how many West End residents would be hired for the low-wage jobs.

The study focuses on housing pre-soccer stadium, leaving out the future impact.

The Port says it is investing $727,000 this year to stabilize six historic properties. Four will be marketed for single-family sale at market rate, two through Habitat of Humanity and two commercial/multi-family for qualified resident renters and small businesses.

Homeowner Robert Killins Junior has lived in the community for 20 years. He says since FCC is coming, its important to maximize. "We want the history preserved," he says. "The neighborhood went through a traumatic situation when the interstates went through and wiped out a big part of the neighborhood." He also is eager to blend new residents' culture into the community.