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Northside development gets state funding for affordable housing

Northside Triangle Lot.jpg
Posted at 6:25 PM, May 18, 2022

CINCINNATI — Two developers received funding from the state to bring affordable housing to Northside. The state funds come after a long fight from residents demanding that affordable housing be built at the site of the upcoming development.

The development, Vandalia Point, will be located at the Vandalia Triangle surrounded by Vandalia and Hamilton Avenues as well as Blue Rock and Apple Streets. The lot situated in the heart of Northside has been vacant for years, once used by a truck company. Soon, it will be the home of 52 affordable units ranging from studios to three bedrooms. The units will be reserved for residents making up to 60% of the area’s median income. Urban Sites and Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH) are partnering in the effort.

“They have been so receptive and have worked so hard to accommodate,” said Bree Moss, president of the Northside Community Council.

Urban Sites and OTRCH have made multiple appearances during community meetings to gather feedback from residents about the features they would like to see included at the site.

“Something that the residents of this community have said that they value is one step closer to fruition," Moss said. "So we’re really grateful and excited about that.”

Urban Sites and Over-the-Rhine Community Housing are receiving low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The partners needed to receive the credits in order to buy the property from the current owner, PLK Communities, to create affordable units at the site. PLK originally planned to build market-rate housing at the lot but residents pushed back.

“We’re very excited because rental prices have gone up significantly over the last 10 years in Northside. There’s a lot of artists in the neighborhood and folks who work in the service industry who have long called Northside home who have been priced out, essentially,” said Becky Smolenski Finnigan, former president of the Northside Community Council.

Smolenski Finnigan hopes bringing more affordable housing will revive the Northside community.

“This will restore some of that affordable rental property that we’ve lost and hopefully allow families who have always called Northside home to either move back into Northside or stay in Northside," Smolenski Finnigan said.

Over-The-Rhine Community Housing issued a statement saying:

“Over-the-Rhine Community Housing is very grateful to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for the award of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for our Vandalia Point project. We are incredibly excited along with our co-developer Urban Sites, to partner with the Northside community on this much needed housing.”

OTRCH also said it will continue to appear at Northside Community Council meetings to seek input for their designs.

Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.

If there are stories about gentrification in the Greater Cincinnati area that you think we should cover, let us know. Send us your tips at moveupcincinnati@wcpo.com.