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Questions loom over future of development under Cincinnati's new administration

While expressing hope, locals shared reforms they would like to see made in development under the new administration.
Aftab Pureval's congressional campaign manager resigns
Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 21:51:57-04

CINCINNATI — Will gentrification in Cincinnati change with Aftab Pureval as mayor? On the campaign trail, Pureval spoke out against politicians becoming overly involved in development contracts and focused on the importance of protecting and uplifting the underrepresented and people of color.

Peter Hames, an Over-the-Rhine resident and former president of the neighborhood's community council, said he expects Pureval to do a better job engaging with the community to find a solution.

“People are looking for change," Hames said. "Very serious gentrification is taking place here and no one is confronting that issue. Based upon the way he talked during the campaign, I expect he will take it on.”

In an interview with WCPO 9 in April, Pureval said he would make racial equity a priority when he assumes office.

"My agenda, as it relates to equity, can be summed up in one word: ownership — black ownership of homes, black ownership of businesses and black ownership of neighborhoods," Pureval said.

In his affordable housing platform, Pureval shared ideas like creating programs to help low-income people achieve home ownership. He also advocated for creating incentives for landlords and developers to expand the affordable housing stock. Executing these ideas could stave off gentrification and displacement.

“I'm really anxious to see some additional constraints on developer actions, both within the Department of Economic Development as well as just within City Hall," said Kate Botos, the Madisonville Community Council President. “I think we need to take a good hard look on where we are giving out our tax dollars in terms of TIFF, where we're giving out the land to a developer.”

However, Josh Rothstein of Onsite Retail Group said the new mayor should eliminate some of the red tape developers face when trying to create deals that could benefit the city.

“Hopefully, with Aftab at the helm, a lot of the red tape can be cut and more of the approval process can be streamlined," Rothstein said.

In his first 100 days, Pureval said, his team will be "laser focused" on his plans for equity and affordable housing, as well as economic recovery, public safety and environment.

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.