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Advocates say a new Ohio law puts up barriers to affordable housing

Lower Price Hill Thrives housing project on Neave St.
Over-the-Rhine Community Housing
Lower Price Hill Thrives housing project on Neave St.

Some developers say a new Ohio law could be a big barrier to affordable housing projects. Meanwhile, housing advocates worry it could make millions of dollars in rent assistance impossible to distribute.

Among the changes in Ohio House Bill 45, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law, is a rule preventing a project from receiving both Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits.

"This hurts Cincinnati and adds more strain on our housing gap," Cincinnati City Councilmember Liz Keating said in a statement after DeWine signed the bill. "Ohio needs housing at all levels to keep up with the demand as we continue to grow."

HB 45 also includes $161 million in new rental assistance. But according to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, the money could only be used for late payments incurred through the end of 2021. COHHIO says that makes it practically useless. The group hopes lawmakers will remove the language from the bill in the next General Assembly.

On Cincinnati Edition we talk with housing advocates and developers about the changes in the law.


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