Zoning Reform and Tax Abatements Drive Cincinnati's New Housing Equity Agenda

New political leadership in Cincinnati is centering housing equity in a proposal that would ease zoning restrictions and streamline Low Income Housing Tax Credits, among other measures.

January 20, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio

Ami Parikh / Shutterstock

New Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval announced this week a package of housing reforms that could potentially put a major dent in the city's supply of single-family zones.

Allison Babke summarizes the package as follows in an article for CityBeat:

Pureval said that he will introduce a motion to Cincinnati City Council to conduct a comprehensive housing incentive and zoning review. The motion also would engage residents and remove housing barriers, Pureval said. The review and legislation that follows will guide Cincinnati's future growth and boost mixed-income affordable housing instead of concentrating incentives in neighborhoods that already are wealthy, he added.

According to Babke, Reggie Harris, council member and chair of the equitable growth and housing committee, is already working on a proposal to "update zoning laws that currently deem certain multi-family units illegal."

Both Mayor Puerval and Councilmember Harris are quoted in the article iterating the importance of equity in guiding housing reforms, increasing housing options and affordability in Cincinnati neighborhoods that historically have been left out of redevelopment investments.

A separate article by Becca Costello for WVXU headlines a different component of the proposal: tax abatements to developers applying for federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Councilmember Harris, again, is writing an ordinance that would streamline the LIHTC application process.

Additional news coverage of Cincinnati's new housing reform agenda is available in articles for WCPO and Spectrum News 1.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 in CityBeat

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