Revitalizing Cincinnati: Budget Prioritizes Housing Solutions Amid Fiscal Challenges

September 7, 2023
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Cincinnati City Hall’s proactive approach to addressing pressing housing issues takes center stage as city leaders meticulously craft the budget for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. In this proposed budget, the city showcases a resolute commitment to tackling housing-related challenges head-on, ranging from eviction prevention to improving code enforcement.

A Dual-Purpose Approach

One notable allocation in the proposed budget is $1 million for a program designed to provide tenants with access to counsel and emergency rental assistance for those who are at risk of eviction. This initiative seeks to offer a safety net for vulnerable renters and prevent homelessness. Additionally, the city wants to establish a code enforcement team that will be dedicated to addressing issues related to code violations and inadequate property conditions. This team will consist of nine full-time positions incorporated into the city’s building and inspection department. The team’s mission goes beyond mere enforcement, as it aims to protect tenants and improve housing conditions, which, in turn, can boost property values.

This dual-purpose approach is expected to generate revenue, both directly through citations and indirectly through the preservation and enhancement of property values. On top of this, the proposed department will oversee various aspects of housing policy, including blight enforcement, nuisance mitigation, and tenant protection. To support these endeavors, the city’s budget earmarks approximately $1.46 million annually. Another significant inclusion in the proposed budget is the allocation of roughly $550,000 for a pilot rental rehabilitation loan program. This initiative is aimed at smaller rental properties, with the goal of increasing the availability of affordable housing. By focusing on rehabilitating existing rental units, the city hopes to contribute to its affordable housing stock.