CINCINNATI — Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution in support of a state senate bill that would empower individual tenants and other bidders when buying foreclosed homes.
Ohio Senate Bill 334 would prevent large out-of-state companies from buying foreclosed single-family homes in large quantities. Supporters hope the bill will reduce property issues that frequently arise among out-of-state landlords in local communities. They say it would also protect housing conditions for renters and homeowners in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Council member Reggie Harris, one of the council members who introduced the resolution, said the bill would help level the playing field for marginalized individuals looking to buy foreclosed homes that have also captured the interest of national companies.
"People in the community, non-profits who are invested have an opportunity to match the bid in the purchase. And this is a really great sort of systemic way to begin to think about this problem because we don't want to remove investment from the community. We want to make sure it's the right type of investment," Harris said.
Council member Jeff Cramerding introduced the resolution alongside Harris. Cramerding spoke on why out-of-state landlords can be harmful for the city’s real estate market.
"Predatory property owners swoop into neighborhoods, buy up a tremendous amount of houses," Cramerding said. "This decreases our homeownership rate. It also artificially inflates home prices. And when they come in, they often rip out. a lot of the character that makes houses unique. That makes Cincinnati unique."
Senate Bill 334 was introduced earlier this month by State Senator Louis Blessing III of Colerain. The bill is now up for review by a budget committee.
Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.
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