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Sittenfeld wants to save Lower Price Hill affordable housing project

Posted at 6:25 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 18:25:07-04

Lower Price Hill Thrives, a community revitalization project that would turn vacant buildings into affordable housing,could lose all $11 million it’s secured from the state of Ohio if the city of Cincinnati can’t drum up a final $1 million in funding by Dec. 31.

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld’s new proposal could save it.

On Thursday, Sittenfeld proposed an ordinance that would allocate $1 million of Cincinnati’s Home Investment Partnership Program Funding — money local governments receive from the Department of Housing and Urban Development — to Lower Price Hill Thrives.

Sittenfeld said he’s hopeful the ordinance will go before his fellow council members within a week, potentially as early as Monday’s budget and finance committee meeting.

If funded, Lower Price Hill Thrives would transform 10 vacant buildings into an apartment complex with about 45 units.

According to Mary Delaney, whose neighborhood advocacy group Community Matters has worked on Lower Price Hill Thrives for five years, the project appeared on-track to receive other city funds until the moment she received a rejection notice from City Manager Paula Boggs Muething in late September.

The reason: “Properties controlled by Community Matters have a history of code violations.”

Delaney said the code violations were the point, and that her group had deliberately purchased run-down buildings to improve them. Sittenfeld voiced his support for the project and promised to look at other ways Cincinnati could help fund it.

Lower Price Hill Community Council president Cynthia Ford said she’s hopeful Sittenfeld’s proposal will go through.

“This will improve the look of the neighborhood, but most importantly (it will provide) housing for so many people that want to be here,” she said.