Ribbon cut on first affordable housing project of its kind in Price Hill

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – The long-awaited renovation of a Price Hill skyscraper is officially complete, providing nearly 200 units of affordable, quality housing to families in Cincinnati.

Authorities cut the ribbon from the Pinecrest Apartments on Wednesday. The nine-story, 190-unit complex hadn’t been updated since it was built over 40 years ago.

“It’s really cool,” said Mark Propheter. “They’ve really done a lot of things here.”

Propheter was on the verge of homelessness earlier this summer after his rent skyrocketed. He was among the first wave of residents to move into The Pinecrest at the end of July.

It welcomed new cabinets, closets, appliances, light fixtures, HVAC units and laminate flooring. CMHA also installed new laundry rooms and elevators. Rent, meanwhile, remains at 30 percent of residents’ income.

“It’s like night and day,” Propheter said of the renovations.

The Pinecrest is the first project completed by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority using an Obama-era federal tool that opens public housing to private investment.

The Ministry of Housing and Urbanism praises its Rental assistance demonstration program as a long-term solution for affordable housing, which currently faces a national backlog of $ 26 billion in deferred maintenance.

The RAD program allows public housing authorities to convert public housing subsidies into Section 8 subsidies in order to attract private investment that can be used to finance long overdue repairs and maintenance. The guarantee of future grants facilitates the financing of projects at all levels.

More than $ 250 million of the country’s deferred maintenance is managed by ACSM. At the same time, Hamilton County faces an affordable housing shortage of 25,000 units, according to county estimates.

CMHA and the Hamilton County Council of Commissioners have made affordable housing a top priority.

“We know that rents are increasing in different regions,” said Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “Not everyone can buy a house, so the crisis continues. But the [board] is determined to resolve part of this crisis.

CMHA says Pinecrest is the first of many upcoming home improvement projects. According to a CityBeat report, ACSM would eventually like all of its 5,000 housing units to be integrated into the RAD program.

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