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Lumenocity plans to go out with a bang

In its fourth and final year, Lumenocity has moved from outdoors at Washington Park to inside the Taft Theatre. There will also be a number of new events at the Lumenocity Block Party, which will be going on all weekend and is open to the public.
Lumenocity is Aug. 5-7, with Taft showtimes at 8 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 5 and 2 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 6-7.
The block party will be located on East Fifth Street between Sycamore and Broadway and will feature food trucks and a Rhinegeist beer booth with special Lumenocity Glow Ale. Different stations will be set up along the street with art, music, entertainment and family-friendly activities all weekend long.  
Stations include:

• Artist Jonathan Gibson will assemble a crowd-sourced community art project called Art of Parts 1-8 p.m. Aug. 7. Attendees can stop by and bid on sections of the artwork from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m, and then Gibson will cut up the piece and divvy up the shares. All process will go to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Lumenocity.

• The Family Fun Zone will be just north of Fifth Street featuring a Lantern Station where you can create your own lantern using glow sticks. You can also wave your lantern and dance along with Cincy Brass and Pones Inc. in ArtsWave’s Lantern Parade at 9 p.m. Aug. 5.

• Created by students at the UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Instrument 112 will be an immersive and responsive installation that translates movement into light, sound and patterns of light.

Antonio Violins will help out at the Music Lab, where kids of all ages can stop by and try out an instrument or two. No prior experience is required.

• Swing Set Drum Kit is a human-powered, one-man band. The swing is just like any other park swing, but its chains are connected to percussion instruments that go into action once you start swinging.

• VR Dome is a virtual reality headset with Google’s Tilt Brush technology that lets you “paint” the air. A 40-by-40-foot space will be set up in a parking lot at the corner of Fifth Street and Broadway for attendees to try out the technology. You must be 14 years or older to participate.

Even if you don’t have a ticket to Lumenocity, you can still catch the show. A 33-by-19-foot outdoor LED screen will be mounted at the east end of the block party for attendees to watch the Lumenocity performances at 9:40 p.m. Aug. 5 and 3:40 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7.
Limited tickets are still available for a variety of showtimes. You can purchase them here or stop by one of the above showtimes to watch the event on-screen at the block party.

21st neighborhood participates in Neighborhood Enhancement Program

On July 26, the latest Neighborhood Enhancement Program wrapped up in Lower Price Hill. The 90-day blitz is a collaboration among city departments, community organizations and residents to help jumpstart improvements in each participating neighborhood. 

Launched in 2007, NEP focuses on reducing crime hotspots, beautifying streetscapes and tackling blight, but the program can also help spur more development and investment in the targeted neighborhoods. Data analysis chooses the neighborhoods that will be chosen to participate, but a neighborhood has to be ready for the program.

Price Hill Will received a grant from the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing in March to tackle renovation of Evans Recreation Center during the NEP.

Evans was a big part of the NEP’s focus in Lower Price Hill. A former parking lot is now a skate park installed by the city and sponsored by Warsaw Federal. The skate park joins improved basketball courts and a new bicycle polo area at Evans.
The Cincinnati Reds are continuing to work on Evans and will renovate the baseball fields with the help of hundreds of volunteers from P&G.
To date, Avondale, Bond Hill, Carthage, Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview, College Hill, Corryville, East Price Hill, Evanston, Kennedy Heights, Madisonville, Mt. Airy, Mt. Washington, Northside, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, Price Hill, Roselawn, Walnut Hills and Westwood have all participated in the NEP.
Lower Price Hill was the 21st neighborhood to participate in NEP. The 22nd neighborhood, Mt. Auburn, will begin its blitz in mid-August.

Update: Status of food trucks to restaurants

Over the past few months, a number of well-known food truck owners have announced that they’re branching out and opening brick-and-mortar restaurants and retail spaces. We decided it was time to give readers an update on the restaurants, as the majority of them are planning to open soon.
Dojo Gelato, 1735 Blue Rock St., Northside
Owner Michael Christner is renovating the former J.F. Dairy Corner building into a second location for Dojo. The building is cleaned up, and now construction can begin on the space. Christner plans to move Dojo’s production operations to Northside and will offer an expanded menu that will include gelato as well as traditional ice cream treats.
Panino, 1313-1315 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Nino Loreto sold his food truck to fund a brick-and-mortar restaurant, which will also serve homemade salami and charcuterie. Panino will feature a casual deli with a walk-up meat counter, plus a restaurant that will offer a small menu of charcuterie plates, crostinis, bruschetta and paninis as well as a small selection of entrees. An opening date hasn’t been set yet because, once build-out on the space is finished, Loreto has to make his meat products, which take a while to cure. Keep tabs on Panino’s Facebook page for updates.
Share: Cheesebar, 6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge
C’est Cheese is one of the city’s most beloved food trucks, maybe because the menu is made up of the ultimate comfort food: grilled cheese. Owner Emily Frank is taking her love of the “cheesy goodness” and opening a retail cheese shop, complete with cheese plates, craft beer and wine to enjoy in-store. There have been a number of setbacks, including a life-threatening injury that Frank experienced earlier this year, but the plans and designs for the space have been submitted and Frank is hoping for a fall opening.
Urban Grill on Main, 6623 Main St., Newtown
Randy Reichelderfer and sister-in-law Betsy Eicher are renovating an 1870s farmhouse into a full-service restaurant and coffee shop. The menu will feature customer favorites from the Urban Grill Food Truck, which will continue operating once the restaurant opens. They’re still shooting for a late summer opening in Newtown.

Neighborhood Irish pub expanding in Covington

The owners of Molly Malone’s in Covington are expanding to a space next door. The building at 106-108 E. Fourth St. used to be a Mexican restaurant but has been vacant for a number of years.
Molly Malone’s currently is at capacity, especially during televised soccer games. It's one of the most popular places in Greater Cincinnati during soccer season, and when major tournaments are on TV lines can go out the door. Live music and private events are also part of the restaurant's repertoire.

The renovated space will feature a larger bar and kitchen as well as 95 more seats in the dining area. A new seasonal patio will have glass garage doors, and there will be rooftop access.
There are also plans for an updated menu and a new brunch menu that will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
Demolition work is already underway, and the new addition should be ready in time for the NFL season.

New Metro transit center aims to improve rider experience in Northside

A new Metro transit center is in the works near the intersection of Spring Grove Avenue and Blue Rock Street, just off of Hamilton Avenue in Northside. The hub will provide a dedicated off-street boarding location for the 13,400 riders that Metro currently serves in the neighborhood each day.

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the agency that oversees Metro, has been working alongside the Northside Community Council and Northside Business Association to develop a plan that addresses long-standing transit infrastructure needs. Northside is a major transit corridor, with six local routes, one express route and one crosstown route that come through the neighborhood daily.

It's the second busiest Metro location in the city, surpassed only by the Government Square stop downtown. Much of the activity is concentrated at Knowlton’s Corner, where Hamilton and Spring Grove intersect.

“This will be a very transformational project for the neighborhood,” says Ollie Kroner, president of the Northside Community Council. 

The new hub is designed to be universally accessible, improve safety and visibility and incorporate sustainable, durable materials. The transit station will have real-time destination screens, green spaces, public art, bike racks and 18 park-and-ride spaces. Development plans began a year ago and have incorporated community input through a series of charrettes, or brainstorming sessions.

According to Kroner, re-routing the stops along Hamilton to the transit hub will help to complete the business district.

“If you look at the Northside business district, under-utilization and vacancy are concentrated near the Knowlton’s Corner stop,” Kroner says.

The new transit hub is expected to streamline bus service, creating greater comfort and faster service for riders. Land acquisition, environmental assessments and a review to ensure that the site doesn't have historical significance have already been completed.

After a third community charrette session and plan finalization, construction will begin. The new hub is expected to be operational by late 2017.

New riverfront developments coming to Newport

A number of new developments along the Newport side of the Ohio riverfront could mean exciting changes for Greater Cincinnati. Projects include a bikeway/walkway, widening of a major thoroughfare, new housing options and commercial space and a tourist attraction.

“It’s a great year for development for the city,” says Greg Tulley, development services director for the City of Newport. “There’s a lot of interest in the area, and you’re going to see a lot more projects coming up."

Soapbox rounded up five of the new projects that will continue to shape the future of the region.
Riverfront Commons
Southbank Partners is currently developing an 11-mile bikeway/walkway that will extend along the Ohio riverfront to connect Dayton, Bellevue, Newport, Covington and Ludlow. The project experienced a set-back in April when Gov. Matt Bevin struck down $300,000 in potential state funding, but portions of the trail in Ludlow, Dayton and Covington are slated to move forward without state funding.
KY Rt. 9 (AA) Highway
Construction is underway on the $38 million expansion of Kentucky Route 9, commonly called the AA Highway. This 1.5-mile expansion will ease traffic patterns, starting near the Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge at 11th Street, running parallel to the Licking River past the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge at Fourth Street, then east to the foot of the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. The new road will provide improved access to the Newport riverfront area and will feature dedicated bike lanes.
This mixed-use development by real estate company Corporex will be situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers near the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. Once completed, the $1 billion development will include 108 townhomes, 726 condos, 192 senior housing units, 1.2 million square feet of office, 300,000 square feet of retail space, a 3,000-seat showroom, two hotels and 6,200 parking spaces.

The project was first announced in 2006 but has been stalled awaiting the completion of the AA Highway expansion that goes through the site. Completion of the new highway “will do a lot to jumpstart the Ovation property,” Tulley says.
St. Louis-based Koch Development has proposed a new Ferris wheel attraction for Newport on the Levee. The $10 million project will rise 235 feet above the Ohio River, offering sweeping views of the Cincinnati skyline.

The proposed wheel is currently pending approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that manages the Ohio River flood system. Because the wheel would be built atop Newport’s earthen levee, the Army Corps must evaluate the structural integrity to ensure that the safety of the levee system is maintained. If approved, the project is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
Aqua on the Levee
Cincinnati-based Capital Investment Group Inc., whose other Newport projects include SouthShore Condominiums and The Vue 180 apartment complex, is nearing completion on the $80 million Aqua on the Levee. The development is directly adjacent to Newport on the Levee and features 238 luxury apartments that face the Ohio River.

In addition to new apartments, the mixed-use development will feature 8,300 square feet of retail space along East Third Street and an 800-space parking garage. The development also includes a new Starwood A-loft Hotel on the corner of East Third and Washington Avenue, which is being developed and managed by Louisville-based Musselman Hotels.

Seven NKY projects receive funding in first round of myNKY Nano Grants

In the first round of funding, Skyward and The Center for Great Neighborhoods awarded seven projects in Northern Kentucky with myNKY Nano Grants. The grants are to help support creative placemaking projects that help bring Northern Kentuckians together by building a sense of community, celebrating differences or fostering community pride.
The grants are part of a Center program already in place but expanded into three new communities that are part of Skyward’s nine-county target area for the myNKY Plan: Dayton, Florence and Pendleton County.
Each project received $250 to help bring its idea to fruition.
Dayton Storytime will encourage Dayton residents of all ages to gather to hear local stories in a series of evening events that are designed to increase civic pride and friendship among neighbors.
Take a Look @ Dayton KY will allow residents to create short videos about the city and enter them into a contest. The project will get many looking at the city differently and from new perspectives.
Rose Buddies is a beautification, community engagement and education project that will keep the Knockout Roses along Mall Road blooming all season long.
Pendleton County:
A “Ewe-Nique” Art Hop will commission local artists to create artwork that will be displayed in vacant storefronts in Falmouth during the Kentucky Wool Festival. In conjunction with the unveiling of the art, pop-up galleries will open and local musicians will play during the festival, encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy local heritage, art and culture.
Imagine This… will expand existing leadership and community engagement programs for young students in Pendleton County Schools through an art and essay contest. The topic for the contest is the future of Pendleton County.
Little Free Libraries for PC is a more rural take on the Little Free Library craze. Small structures will be built for the free book exchange project at a number of locations throughout the county. The grant will be used to create signage to help direct people to the standalone libraries.
The deadline for a second round of funding for myNKY Nano Grants is Aug. 1. You can apply online here or download the application. All applicants will receive notification of funding decisions within 10 days of the application deadline.

Third annual Food Truck Fest moves to Summit Park in Blue Ash

Mark your calendars for the Cincinnati Food Truck Association’s third annual Food Fest 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 29. This year’s festival is in a new location and will feature more food trucks than ever before.
Food Fest had been held in Washington Park for the past two years, but this year it’s moving to Summit Park in Blue Ash to accommodate more trucks and larger crowds. Thirty-four trucks will be present this year, and craft beer will be available from local breweries such as Ei8ht Ball Brewing, MadTree Brewing, Old Firehouse Brewery and Urban Artifact Brewery.
The event is set up so you can swing by on your lunch break, stop by for dinner or make a day of it. Live music will be playing throughout the day from Magic Noodle House, JDesiree, Joe Wannabee and the Mad Man’s Blues Band and DJ Nate the Great.
Food Fest is free and open to the public, and the majority of the dishes served on the trucks range between $5 and $10.
Trucks that will be present at this year’s event are:

Adena’s Beefstroll
Bistro de Mohr
Bones Brothers Wings
C’est Cheese
Catch-a-Fire Pizza
Cuban Pete Sandwiches
Dojo Gelato
East Coast Eatz
Eclectic Comfort Food
Empanadas Aqui
Fireside Pizza
Harvest Mobile Cuisine
Hungry Bros.
Joe’s Mojo
Just Jerks
Marty’s Waffles
Coldstone Mobile Creamery
Nonstop Flavor LLC
P&P Woodfired Pizza
Quite Frankly
Red Sesame
Remi J’s Barbecue
Roll With It Café
Slice Slice Baby
Street Chef Brigade
Legasea East Coast Café
Texas Joe
The Chili Hut
U-Lucky Dawg
Urban Grill
Urban Vistro
Wicked Hickory
All food trucks present at Food Fest are participating members of the Cincinnati Food Truck Association (CFTA). If you’re unable to make it on July 29, follow your favorite truck on Facebook so you can catch it at the next event.  

Brewing Heritage Trail receives $300,000 in state/local funds, construction to begin early next year

The Over-the-Rhine Brewery District was recently awarded $200,000 from the state and $100,000 from the city to help get construction underway on the Brewing Heritage Trail. The $5 million project will include a 2.3-mile trail as well as a website and mobile app.
The trail will tell the story of Cincinnati’s beer culture by showcasing the city’s historic breweries and taverns through a series of plaques and murals. A number of the buildings that have served as breweries and taverns over the years are currently in use today by new breweries like Rhinegeist and reborn breweries like Christian Moerlein.
The trail will be split into three segments and will begin in Pendleton and wind its way through Over-the-Rhine and into the Mohawk area. Three murals depicting Cincinnati’s brewing history are located at 25 Back St., 1625 Central Parkway and 131 E. McMicken St. in Over-the-Rhine.
Construction is expected to begin on the middle segment in early 2017. The middle segment will showcase the history of lager, an industry that began in Cincinnati, and the bars and saloons that played important roles in the city’s politics and history.
The first segment of the trail will tell the story of Cincinnati’s early brewers and the cultural background of the English, French, Germans and Irish who settled the city. The third segment will focus on the growth of the city’s breweries and how they began shipping beer all over the world.
The website and mobile app, which were made possible by a grant from the Haile Foundation, are expected to launch this fall. They’ll help guide people through the trail as well as provide additional information.

Tarantino-inspired video store concept coming to Walnut Hills

The team at The Overlook Lodge is bringing its second concept, The Video Archive, to Walnut Hills. Jacob Trevino, along with co-owners Otto Baum and Katie Fraser, are aiming for a fall opening.
“We’ve always loved cinema, and with everything we’ve done it’s always about the experience of movies,” Trevino says.
The Video Archive will be a Quentin Tarantino-inspired 100-square-foot video store featuring Grind-house, Indie and cult classic videos for rent and purchase. Like Gorilla Cinema and The Overlook Lodge, this concept will have its surprises too.
“Tarantino is the ultimate lover of cinema, and we thought it would be a cool idea to incorporate him into our idea,” Trevino says. “The Video Archive is the full circle representation of everything we’ve done over the past two years.”
The 1,500-square-foot space, which will be located at 965 E. McMillan St., is being redeveloped by Model Group and Urban Fast Forward.
“Model Group was looking for something like us for the space, and when we pitched them our ‘interesting’ idea they jumped all over it,” Trevino says.
The Video Archive will add to the energy in Walnut Hills’ business district, joining the likes of Firehouse Pizza, Gomez Salsa, The Growler House, Just Q’in and Myrtle’s Punch House.
“We’re very excited for this next idea and hope it really surprises Walnut Hills and Cincinnati in general,” Trevino says.

Wiedemann Brewing owner now planning a taproom and beer garden in St. Bernard

Jon Newberry, owner of the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co., is taking another shot at opening a brewery in the Cincinnati area. Financing fell through on a leased space in WaterTower Square in Newport, but now he’s working on a location in St. Bernard.
“In a way, St. Bernard chose this venture,” he says. “After Newport fell through, I thought about looking for a space in Covington, but I figured if I was going to look outside of Newport I might as well look in Ohio too. My wife and I live in St. Bernard, and after talking to a neighbor I went to the City to see what I could do about a property.”
By partnering with the City of St. Bernard, Newberry was essentially given the property at 4811 Vine St. in exchange for his investment in the community and bringing jobs to the area. (Other deals like this have brought businesses like Streetpops and Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery there.)
The four-story, 16,000 square foot building along Vine is a former funeral home, which Newberry plans to turn into a large taproom and tavern-like beer hall. Due to the ceiling height in the building, there are plans to build a two-story addition onto the back of the building for the beer tanks and other brewing equipment.
Newberry also envisions a deck to one side of the building with a beer garden below butting up to a city-owned lot located at the former site of the Miami-Erie Canal. The old canal wall is still visible, and Newberry says there are plans for a bike path along the canalway connecting St. Bernard to the Mill Creek Trail.
Wiedemann’s taproom will also offer food, but those plans are still up in the air. Newberry is thinking of partnering with an outside food source that would lease kitchen space or creating a small, manageable menu he could do himself.
Phase II of the development project might include renovating the two upper floors, which house two apartments and office space, into offices for Wiedemann and a meeting or banquet space. The basement will be used for cold storage, kegging and bottling.
Newberry hopes that construction will begin on the brewery in the next few months, with a potential opening date of February or early March of next year.
Newport was home for Wiedemann until 1983, when brewing operations were moved to Evansville, Ind. Newberry says that a future expansion could include another location in Newport, with continued operations in St. Bernard.  

Affordable housing and new retail coming to College Hill

College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) broke ground on a new mixed-use development on July 11. The $11.1 million project, Marlowe Court, is located between Elkton Place and Marlowe Avenue along the 6000 block of Hamilton Avenue.

The new development will add 3,700 square feet of street-level retail space and 53 units of affordable senior housing to College Hill’s business district. Project partner Episcopal Retirement Services is managing the recruitment of residential tenants, all of whom will be seniors ages 55 and older. Once the building is complete, ERS will also take the lead on ongoing property management.

Local consulting and real estate firm Urban Fast Forward is charged with securing ground-level business tenants. Urban Fast Forward is currently conducting a market feasibility study with community input.

“I’ve been working in community development for quite a while,” CHCURC Executive Director Seth Walsh says. “And I am very impressed by how much community involvement there has been in this process.”

The anchor tenant for the building is First Financial Bank, and the search for businesses to fill the remaining two spaces continues. The building is slated for completion by November 2017.

 “We’re looking for a mix of services that will be attractive,” CHCURC VP Jake Samad says. “Restaurants, bars, entertainment, offices.”

This development furthers CHCURC’s long-term goal of adding density and vitality throughout the six-block business district. According to Samad, CHCURC aims to create “a walkable, livable neighborhood that provides opportunities for people to stay in the community, and attract new business.”

In addition to Marlowe Court, CHCURC is also working on a $32 million development called College Hill Station at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and North Bend Road. College Hill Station will break ground in the fall, bringing an additional 12,000 square feet of retail and 162 middle-income apartments to the neighborhood. 

“We couldn’t develop one without the other,” Walsh says. “The success of Marlowe Court allows us to do College Hill Station and begin revitalizing the other parts of the district. It becomes a ripple effect.”

Molly Wellmann taking Melt down the street to larger space at The Gantry

Melt, a Northside staple and a recent addition to Molly Wellmann’s Wellmann’s Brands, is making a big move. Next year, the restaurant will move from its current location at 4165 Hamilton Ave. to the newly built Gantry apartment building, which is across the street and down the block.
The new location will give Melt much needed space — 3,000 square feet of space, to be exact. There will be a larger kitchen space and additional seating as well as new vegetarian and vegan menu items.
In addition to more space, a full-service bar with craft cocktails, craft beer and wine will be added to Melt’s repertoire. Wellmann will be curating the cocktail menu, which will pair with Melt’s menu.
As for the interior of the new space, it will be similar to Melt’s current vibe.
There is still room for another restaurant or retail option on the ground floor of The Gantry. The new four-story, mixed-use development has 131 apartments and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.

Plans haven’t been announced for the additional commercial space or for Melt’s existing space. 

Mac n' cheese food truck makes its rounds about town

Jarod Maier, the former owner of J. Gumbo’s in Fairfield, decided to close his brick-and-mortar restaurant and launch a food truck. He wanted to take his food to his customers, rather than the other way around.
Chicken Mac Truck did a run at Bunbury Festival, where Maier served more than 2,500 bowls of mac n’ cheese. It officially debuted on June 30 at Rhinegeist for a five-day tour of Cincinnati to help support Fall Feast, a free Thanksgiving Day meal for local homeless families.
A portion of the proceeds from the five-day tour went to Fall Feast; Chicken Mac Truck raised a total of $1,000 for the event.
The menu features a blend of slow-simmered chicken over homemade mac n’ cheese. Chicken options include Bourbon Chicken Mac, simmered in a sweet butter and hoisin sauce; Zesty Chicken Mac, which is beer-stewed chicken with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and spices; Spicy Chicken Mac, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with garlic and crushed red pepper; Buffalo Chicken Mac, which is chicken, celery and onion cooked in buffalo sauce and topped with bleu cheese; Honey Sriracha Chicken Mac, cooked in sriracha with honey, garlic and cilantro; and Veggie Corn Stew, which is corn, stewed tomatoes, onions and black beans in a sweet and spicy butter sauce.
Over the next few weeks, Chicken Mac Truck has a number of stops on its calendar. It will be at the Low Cut Connie concert on July 21 at RiversEdge in Hamilton, the Robert DeLong concert on July 22 on Fountain Square, and the Buckle Up Music Festival on August 5 and 6 at Summit Park in Blue Ash.

Price Hill Will: Opening paths to homeownership

Price Hill Will now has a homesteading program that helps working families on their path to homeownership. Prior to establishing the program — which is currently in its pilot phase — Price Hill Will had rehabbed 61 homes through its long-standing Buy-Improve-Sell program.

Buy-Improve-Sell focuses exclusively on the Cedar Grove area and the Incline District, and aims to take abandoned homes “with good bones, and that are strategic to the street,” and turn them back into assets to the community, says Ken Smith, executive director of Price Hill Will.

The homesteading program is an extension of the agency’s existing real estate development efforts. The new program allows Price Hill Will to consider “homes that we wouldn’t otherwise,” Smith says.

Homes can be anywhere in the neighborhood, but must be near code compliance and close to move-in ready. Price Hill Will rehabs the homes to liveable conditions, and then works with partner organizations Santa Maria and the Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio to identify families that could be a good match for the property.

The program is open to families who would not qualify for a traditional mortgage. Families must be able to afford the monthly payments at 30 percent of their total income or less, and be willing to invest sweat equity into maintaining and further improving the home.

After reviewing their monthly budget with the referring organization, families then go through homebuyer education, which is provided by Working in Neighborhoods.

Smith says these steps are important in helping families understand the program requirements and expectations. “We don’t want to put people in a situation they can’t sustain.”

The homes are then sold to the families via a five-year land contract, which is repaid to Price Hill Will in modest monthly installments. The homes are sold at an affordable price that covers the nonprofit's initial investment into the property.

To date, the program has placed two families in homes in the neighborhood. Initially, Price Hill Will had aimed to complete 10 homes in the first nine months of the program.

“The challenge is finding the right homes that we can quickly get code compliant,” Smith says.

As the program moves forward, Price Hill Will is continuing to explore ways to scale it sustainably, while making sure that the homes are attainable for neighborhood families.

“We need people saving working class homes that are affordable,” Smith says. “We can’t let Cincinnati become a city where people who work here can’t live.”
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