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Midwest Sustainability Summit helps start dialogue in Cincinnati and beyond


On June 9, Cincinnati will once again host the Midwest Sustainability Summit at Xavier’s Cintas Center. The event will feature a keynote speaker, awards ceremony and breakout sessions.
 
This year, the Summit will explore new areas of environmental sustainability while taking a deeper look at equity in sustainability.
 
The Summit’s goal is to bring together a broad audience of professionals — Fortune 100 businesses, small business owners, government agencies, academia and NGOs — who want to engage in thoughtful discussion, share best practices and celebrate the sustainability work that is currently being done throughout the Midwest. The Summit will also help identify areas for future regional collaborations.
 
Van Jones, a leader in building an equitable green economy, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Summit. He’s started problem-solving organizations like The Dream Corps, Green for All and Rebuild the Dream, and will share his wealth of knowledge and experience in linking the economy, environment and social justice.
 
A lunchtime awards ceremony will honor local small business leaders that have incorporated sustainability into their business practices. The breakout sessions will allow attendees to dive deeper into issues like energy conservation, water quality, local food access, outdoor recreation, sustainable business supply chains and waste reduction.
 
Tickets will go on sale in February. Early bird student admission is $15; Green Umbrella members are $45; and general admission is $65.
 

Towne Properties adding second phase to DeSales Flats project


A new $13.5 million apartment project is in the works for Evanston. Towne Properties is planning Phase II of DeSales Flats at the northwest corner of Lincoln and Woodburn avenues next to the original DeSales Flats, which is actually located in East Walnut Hills.
 
The project will yield 92 market-rate units: 44 one-bedroom apartments, averaging about 740 square feet; 36 one-bedroom-with-den apartments, averaging about 825 square feet; eight two-bedroom apartments, averaging about 1,115 square feet; and four two-bedroom-plus-den units, averaging 1,215 square feet.
 
All apartments will have high-speed WiFi, full-sized stacked washer and dryer, quartz countertops and soaking tubs in the bathrooms. Towne is also seeking LEED Gold certification on the development, which would be its first building with that LEED level. Rent hasn’t been set yet but will be similar to rates at DeSales Flats.
 
DeSales Flats Phase II will also have a 119-space parking lot with bicycle parking and an electric car charging station. Other community amenities include a clubroom with fireplace, full kitchen and coffee bar, fitness center, outdoor saltwater pool with sundeck, outdoor firepit and outdoor lounge area with a water feature.
 
Construction is slated to being this summer, with units available as soon as spring or early summer 2017.

Check out the project's layout here.
 

Civic Garden Center celebrates 74 years, builds community through gardening


Now in its 74th year, Civic Garden Center (CGC) is focused on building community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship. A number of different programs help educate the public about sustainable gardening and conservation at the grassroots level, which in turn improves Cincinnati’s little corner of the environment.
 
Its main program, community gardens, helps build community garden plots throughout Cincinnati’s core in mainly low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. There are about 60 community garden plots in the city, and volunteers who are mostly residents of those neighborhoods operate them.
 
“It takes more than one person to build a community, and it also takes a lot of people to garden,” says Jared Queen, director of development and marketing for CGC. “When people come together to do something bigger than themselves, it can give them a sense of purpose.”
 
The focus of the community garden plots is on fruits and vegetables, not flowers — the plots yield thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year, and a lot of it is in turn donated to Freestore Foodbank.
 
Along with the community garden program, CGC operates a school garden program at 90 different schools, churches and community organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati. The gardens are living and learning labs where students have the opportunity to leave the classroom and go into the garden to learn about nature, where food comes from and the life cycle of plants.
 
On top of that, CGC offers teacher education that’s free and focused on school gardening. The organization also donates seeds and other materials so schools can operate the gardens themselves.
 
“The mission of the school garden program is to help provide positive experiences in nature for students and teachers so they can become lifelong learners and lovers of nature,” says Mary Dudley, director of children’s education at CGC.
 
This fall, Mt. Auburn International Academy will receive a new $10,000 garden with 20 seeder raised beds. CGC is helping to restart the garden at Covedale Elementary School and adding two new beds at Silverton Paideia Academy. Shine Nurture Center in Mt. Airy is also receiving a garden courtesy of CGC. By next spring, there will be about 100 school gardens inside the I-275 loop.
 
When CGC moved to its current Avondale location in 1949, there was a gas station adjacent to the property that closed in the 1950s or ‘60s. CGC purchased the site in the 1980s but wasn’t able to raise capital to fix up the blighted property until 2007. The Green Learning Station opened on the spot in 2011 and is a fully functioning educational tool that helps teach kids and adults about sustainability and environmental science.
 
For example, the Metropolitan Sewer District contributed $600,000 so CGC could help educate the public on combined sewer overflow. Through the efforts at the Green Learning Station, Queen says that Cincinnati’s total amount of sewage dumped into natural freshwater ways has been decreased from 14 billion to 11 billion gallons.
 
In order to operate all of these programs free of charge, CGC has to receive grant money or hold fundraisers. Its largest fundraiser, THE Plant Sale, will be held May 6-8. This is the 56th year for the plant sale, which started as a plant swap between gardeners.
 
“This sale really speaks to our organization because it started at the grassroots level,” Queen says. “To this day, it’s still run by hundreds of volunteers and shows our humble beginnings as an organization.”
 
The sale starts Friday night with a ticketed preview event, which sells lots of tickets because the event doesn’t restock. Once a plant is gone, it’s gone. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday and is free to attend and open to the public.
 
There will be a wide variety of plants available, including herbs, fruits and vegetables, sun perennials, hastas and donated perennials at 17 different booths. In the tradition of how the event started, you can split a plant you grew at home and donate it to the sale, with all the profit going to CGC.
 
The Green Flea, which is a nod to City Flea, will be held the same weekend, featuring new and gently used gardening implements and decorations available for sale.
 
Tickets to the Friday preview event start at $75 and can be purchased here.
 

NKU plans to open its free community garden in April


Northern Kentucky University recently received a $700 Color in Our Community grant from the Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service to help fund an on-campus community garden. The garden will open in April and join a network of existing gardens in the Highland Heights area.
 
This isn’t the first time NKU has started a garden on campus. The first was behind Callahan Hall, but once renovations started on the building the construction work rendered the garden site unsafe.
 
The new community garden is in a more central location behind NKU’s historic log cabin off of Nunn Drive, which makes it accessible to a wider diversity of people. It’s a relatively small garden, with just 10 plots that measure 4-by-8-ft. NKU plans to plant wildflowers, and during Earth Week fruit trees will be added around the garden.
 
Everything about the garden is free, from the obtaining of plots to the seeds to the equipment to garden. NKU Facilities Management paid for a large portion, including the construction labor and foundation work; the Color in Our Community grant filled in the gaps. NKU’s on-campus food provider, Chartwells, is providing the seeds.
 
“This is a great opportunity for people to grow their own fresh produce, something that college students have access to, especially in the summer,” NKU Sustainability Manager Tess Phinney says. “It’s a chance to get free food as well as healthy and organic food that you grow yourself.”
 
Applications for a garden plot are due by Feb. 29 and can be accessed here. Each gardener must attend one of two orientation classes scheduled for March 23 at 5:50 p.m. and March 25 at 11 a.m. at the Campbell County Cooperative Extension in Highland Heights.
 
At the meeting, Phinney will go over the gardening waiver and the two horticulture technicians who are tag-teaming the classes will go over the basics of gardening. The classes are open to anyone interested, even if you’re not adopting a plot on NKU’s campus.
 
“The garden gives the university and surrounding community the chance to partner on something bigger than ourselves,” Phinney says. “It gives us a chance to help build a community.”
 

Neighborhood Enhancement Program targets Roselawn blight, improves community engagement


Earlier this month, Roselawn wrapped up the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, a 90-day collaborative effort among city departments, neighborhood residents and community organizations focusing on developing neighborhood assets. The program started the momentum, and now it’s up to the neighborhood and its residents to continue it.
 
The goal in Roselawn was to develop neighborhood assets and improve the quality of life for residents as well as improve community engagement, educate residents on fire and police safety, train landlords, recycle and improve the neighborhood’s overall health and wellness.
 
Roselawn is home to Cincinnati’s first year-round outdoor gym, YEP Fitness. The project was funded in just two months, as volunteers raised over $150,000 for new weather-proof equipment and a new track.
 
In October, 200 volunteers from the University of Cincinnati, local businesses and the Roselawn community helped clean up the neighborhood. They spent the weekend mowing lawns, cleaning up vacant lots, painting parking meters and fire hydrants and removing litter, debris and overgrowth from targeted areas.
 
During the NEP, parks and vacant lots were cleaned, bus stops were removed and consolidated, loitering was discouraged, flooding issues were resolved, blight was decreased and recycling was encouraged for residents and businesses. Roselawn now holds the record for the most completed building orders for homes of any of the previous NEP neighborhoods.
 
NEP partners included the Roselawn Community Council, the Roselawn Business Alliance, the City of Cincinnati, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, the American Red Cross, Operation DRIVEN Mercy Health Foundation and Deaconess Associations Foundation, among others.
 
Roselawn is the 20th Cincinnati neighborhood to participate in the NEP. Other neighborhoods included Avondale, Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview, College Hill, Corryville, Evanston, Madisonville, Mt. Washington, Northside, Over-the-Rhine, Price Hill and Westwood.
 

Noble Denim founders open Victor Athletics storefront, partner for Brush Factory launch


Noble Denim clothing has been sold online and exclusively at Article in Over-the-Rhine since 2012, but on Nov. 21 its founders will open a nearby storefront for their denim as well as for their new brand, Victor Athletics. This next step was made possible due to a Kickstarter campaign that launched in the spring and raised over $120,000.
 
Like Noble, Victor will offer American-made, organic clothing — specifically athletic-based items like sweatshirts, jogger pants and T-shirts. The Noble team focuses on organic clothing because, just like food, cotton is grown using a number of pesticides that can damage clothing in the long run.
 
Although the average consumer’s buying habits haven’t changed as much when it comes to purchasing organic clothing, Noble and Victor hope to shine a light on the benefits of organic clothing. They’re interested in sourcing cotton that lessens the impact on workers and is grown without pesticides and other chemicals.
 
Noble and Victor are also committed to American-made products.
 
“Victor really came to be because our factory in Tennessee wanted more work and wanted to grow their workforce and Noble Denim customers were looking for items at a lower price point than our jeans,” says co-founder Abby Sutton, who started Noble with her husband, Chris.
 
The 987-square-foot Victor Athletics Club is on the ground floor of Beasley Place, a mixed-income apartment project at Republic and 14th Streets developed by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing. The majority of Victor’s clothing is under $100, including a crewneck sweatshirt for $30 and a hoodie for $70. The storefront will also have a sewing area where workers will make totes in-store from American-made canvas.
 
Although Noble and Victor will both be available at the new store, the team’s primary goal is to grow Victor online.
 
“Our generation goes online first,” Sutton says. “But that in-person experience is so important, especially for a brand that wants to grow online.”

Noble/Victor is partnering with another successful startup, Brush Factory, to sell that company’s first collection of solid hardwood furniture, BFF. A soft launch of the furniture line is scheduled for 4-10 p.m. on Black Friday (Nov. 27) at Victor Athletics Club.

Brush Factory won the 2015 ArtWorks Big Pitch competition in August, while Noble Denim won the same competition in 2014.
 
Once open, Victor Athletics Club hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
 

National sustainability team researching LEED-ND possibilities in Northside


Northside is one of six neighborhoods across the country that received a grant from the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, which is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the grant, each community will receive free sustainable neighborhood planning and design consultation from Global Green USA in order to determine if LEED for Neighborhood Development is feasible.
 
This year’s grant will also help neighborhoods in Memphis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis. Northside is Global Green’s 24th neighborhood in three years.
 
The Global Green team conducted a three-day visit in Northside last week, including a meeting with representatives from the business district and other stakeholders, a community meeting and a walking tour of the neighborhood.
 
In order to be considered for the grant, a community must meet certain criteria, including a project that’s considered a catalytic development for LEED-ND. In Northside, it’s the proposed transit hub behind Django Western Taco on Blue Rock Road in what is today a parking lot controlled by the Northside Business Association.
 
“Sustainability has many angles,” says Walker Wells, member of the Global Green team. “It’s walkability, which is not just using cars or burning fossil fuels but also supporting local businesses.”
 
The transit hub would serve the eight bus lines that converge in Northside. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) recently purchased two pieces of property behind the parking lot and is working with MSA Architects on the plans.
 
Loosely, the idea is to create a two-way bus street with 6-8 bays for buses. It would be a clean, safe area for bus riders and drivers as well as pedestrians.
 
After each visit, the team makes recommendations for infrastructure and policy changes aimed at helping build a future that’s more resource-efficient, livable, healthy, equitable and environmentally responsible.
 
“We will identify the assets, challenges and opportunities in Northside and make suggestions to make those assets better and how to address the challenges and opportunities as well as who would help achieve them,” Wells says.

Global Green will present their findings in a month, and from there Northside will decide the next steps to take. LEED-ND certification is an expensive and lengthy process, and to date Global Green has only certified proposed plans or parts of projects, not entire projects.
 

Paddlefest events to connect Tristate with the outdoors, promote healthy living


Part of Green Umbrella’s mission is to promote outdoor recreation and nature awareness for kids of all ages, and there’s no better example than the nonprofit’s annual Paddlefest, which returns June 18-20.
 
June 18 is the Paddlefest Kids Expo, 9:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. at Coney Island. The free event is divided into four villages: Let’s Splash, Let’s Be Green, Let’s Explore and Let’s Move. Each village teaches life skills that include everything from catching your first fish to how to paddle a raft and how to recycle and compost.
 
“It’s a chance to families to unplug from the digital world and plug into nature,” says Brewster Rhoads, the outgoing executive director of Green Umbrella.
 
Kids get passports and, if they get stamps from 10 different activities, receive a jump rope to take home. Rhoads says that at the end of the day each kid walks about 1.5 miles and goes home tired and excited about the world around them.
 
“This is all part of helping to grown the next generation of environmental stewards,” he says. “It also brings up adults’ awareness of the most important natural resource and helps boost Cincinnati’s green footprint.”
 
The Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival is June 19 at Coney Island and provides Paddlefest participants an opportunity to register for the event and drop off their boat. The free event will also include boat demos, a gear swap, a kayak fishing tournament and live music. Bands go on at 5 p.m. and will play until midnight; featured acts include Rumpke Mountain Boys, The Hot Magnolias, Jake Speed & the Freddies, Michela Miller and East of Vine.
 
The 14th Annual Ohio River Paddlefest is June 20 and is open to paddlers of all skill levels, from the recreational paddler to the competitive racing paddlers. It’s the largest paddling event in the United States, with about 2,000 people working down the Ohio River together.
 
“This event gives people a personal and intimate experience with the Ohio,” Rhoads says. “It draws attention to the region’s biggest asset and helps bust myths about the river. People think the Ohio is dangerous and dirty, but during the event they realize it’s cleaner and safer than they imagined.”
 
Paddlefest has grown from a four-hour event to an eight-mile, three-day event for adults and kids. The event begins at Coney Island, stops at Smith Field and ends at the Public Landing downtown. There’s a shuttle at the end of the route that will take participants back to their vehicles.
 
Registration is $35 per person, and everyone gets a T-shirt. You can register for Paddlefest here.
 
For more outdoor recreation activities and events around the Tristate this summer, visit meetmeoutdoors.com.
 

Pendleton Street Townhomes to offer single-family housing in OTR

In the next year, the Pendleton area of Over-the-Rhine will have five new single-family houses. Pendleton Street Townhomes will include one 1870s renovation, located at 1533 Pendleton, and four new builds. The project is being developed by Pendleton Ventures, LLC, and is being funded by the City and the Cincinnati Development Fund.
 
Construction began on July 1, although some preliminary emergency stabilization was done on this past winter. The townhomes should be complete in 9-12 months, and ready for move-in shortly after.
 
“We want to provide a format for families to move into the city,” says Edward Wright of Wright Design, LLC. “This is a great place to raise a family, with lots to do. Why not create a place for families to live like they would in the suburbs?”
 
Each townhouse will have three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, as well as a two-car garage. Homeowners will have the option of adding a rooftop deck or a deck on the back of the house.
 
All of the houses will be LEED certified and will have a mostly grass backyard with a concrete pad for parking. The houses that don’t have a side alley for trash cans will also have a “trash yard” attached to the house and screened from the street, with a balcony above that overlooks the street. 

In order to make the buildings look original, custom caster work will be done on the front of each house.
 
“There have been vacant properties in this area for years, and it’s exciting to be putting some of the buildings back,” Wright says.
 
The second phase of Pendleton Street Townhomes will include five units on Spring Street across the street from those on Pendleton. Although the buildings have a slightly different character, they will feature many of the same amenities as Phase I, Wright says.
 

Workshops to help with ins and outs of OTR homeownership

A series of workshops on homeownership in Over-the-Rhine will take place this spring. The series aims to bring together relevant resources and expertise to better educate potential homebuyers.
 
Owner-Occupied Over-the-Rhine, which is sponsored by the OTR Foundation, will cover everything from selecting the right property to financing to navigating the specific needs of a historic property and historic district.
 
The Foundation’s goal is to make it easier for individuals and families to rehabilitate buildings in OTR, the Brewery District or Pendleton by educating them about what redevelopment in a neighborhood entails, and helping them make connections to successfully complete a project.
 
The workshops will be held at 8 a.m. on April 12, May 10 and June 14 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in OTR. Registration is $50 for all three sessions. You can register for the series here.
 
April 12’s session is titled “Learning from those who have gone before you.” Attendees will learn from other owner-occupants who have successfully renovated buildings, and tour completed or in-process projects. The second session, “You have a property, where do you begin?” will deal with choosing and purchasing a building, preparation for renovation, choosing a team, preserving historic properties, and laws and regulations. The final session, “Do the numbers add up and if they don’t, what do you do?" will touch on financing options that are available to owner-occupants.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Randolph Park redesign in the works for City of Covington

In September, a group of nine experts from the American Institute of Architects’ Sustainable Design Assessment Team visited Covington to redesign Randolph Park. Covington was one of seven communities to receive a $25,000 competitive grant from the AIA.
 
The team spent three days designing the park—day one included interviews with stakeholders, a community meeting and a tour of the park and the surrounding area; day two was spent designing; and day three the concepts were presented to the public.
 
Three different concepts were put on the table: updating the park’s amenities; building a community use room; and including a community school. All of the concepts feature sustainable design and are community-oriented. Now it’s up to the community to decide which design will be used and when redevelopment will begin.
 
“The City of Covington brought everyone together to discuss the redesign, but the park is a community-driven action,” says Natalie Gardner, programs and strategic projects manager for the City of Covington.
 
The City is funding the project, and has $500,000 in its capital fund for Randolph Park’s redevelopment.
 
A final plan has yet to be chosen, but Gardner says residents are ready to get the project underway.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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LEED silver certified, single-family home in OTR for sale

One of the first LEED silver certified homes in Over-the-Rhine is for sale. The two-story, 2,000-square-foot, three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home was completely renovated by Chris Reckman and his fiancé, Louisa Deutsch.
 
Reckman, of C.A.R. Construction dba Urban Expansion, purchased the structure at 1504 Race St. in March of this year. Reckman has rehabbed several other historic buildings and single-family homes in OTR—he and Deutsch did a complete and thorough gut and rehab on the property. They had to clear away a lot of trash from the inside of the house and repair the floor that had buckled due to water damage. The home is now live-in ready, and until they sell it, Reckman and Deutsch are living there.   
 
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using green strategies, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. To be LEED silver certified, a building must receive 50–59 points.
 
“With the opening of Washington Park, there is now more of a demand for these types of homes,” Reckman says. “OTR isn’t just empty nesters and young professionals, but people with kids who see the value of living in the city. Plus, the streetcar is going to go right past the house’s front door, and that’s huge.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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WIN helps make South Cumminsville walkable, increases home ownership

Working in Neighborhoods was one of 12 organizations selected by the Project for Public Spaces to receive technical assistance from the Walkable & Livable Communities Institute, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. WIN is currently working to make the Beekman-Elmore corridor of South Cumminsville more walkable, livable, healthy and welcoming.
 
In South Cumminsville, only one in four people own or have access to a car, so crosswalks are vital to the community. But people had problems getting across the street in front of Wayne Park, where the crosswalk signals were too short. With a simple change in signal duration, it’s now easier for people to cross the street, says Marilyn Evans, president of the South Cumminsville Community Council.
 
WIN is also working to increase home ownership in South Cumminsville. The neighborhood has a 54 percent home ownership rate, which is high for the city of Cincinnati, where the average is 32 percent.
 
“WIN has had the opportunity to redevelop sections of the neighborhood into different housing options,” says Sister Barbara Bush, executive director of WIN. “We purchased an old church and converted the school into 18 senior housing units. It helped bring seniors into the community and opened up a housing option for the seniors who already lived here.”
 
The organization also provides education for homebuyers on everything from how to start saving for a house to how to secure a loan. And it's the second largest foreclosure prevention organization in the county. To date, WIN has educated about 300 families on buying a house and helped about 600 families from losing their home. WIN has also been dabbling in green efforts since the ‘70s, teaching homeowners how to be more energy efficient.
 
WIN partners with the South Cumminsville Community Council on an after-school program for kids; they also offer an on-site summer camp. There are plans to increase the recreation facilities at Wayne Park, and possibly put in a walking track and splash ground, Evans says.
 
“We’re also trying to combat the lack of healthy food options in South Cumminsville,” Sister Barbara says. “The neighboring communities of Northside and Camp Washington both recently lost their grocery stores, and it’s becoming harder for residents to get to healthy food.”
 
Closing the Health Gap came in and is looking at a healthy store program along Beekman. There’s also a community garden at the corner of Roll and Ralston, and it’s become an opportunity to educate kids about fruits and vegetables.  
 
“WIN has helped us come together, work together and stay on the same page as a neighborhood,” Evans says. “There are so many different opportunities for people to come in and make changes. Without WIN, it wouldn’t be possible for us to uplift our neighborhood.”
 
WIN is a comprehensive community development corporation, and is active in three Cincinnati neighborhoods—South Cumminsville, Northside and College Hill. It has rehabbed homes in Spring Grove Village, Elmwood Place and the West McMicken area of Over-the-Rhine. WIN will celebrate its 35th anniversary in November.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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City of Covington selling rehabbed, historic homes with financial assistance

Five city-owned, fully rehabilitated historic homes are currently available for purchase in downtown Covington. The houses were acquired as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which awarded funds to redevelop foreclosed and abandoned properties in the city to help revitalize neighborhoods.
 
NSP targets new and existing homeowners and provides financing to help with the cost of a down payment and other associated fees. However, existing homeowners must utilize the NSP property as their primary residence.
 
The houses that are for sale through the NSP program are: 334 E. 18th St., 912 and 914 Banklick St., and 118 and 120 E. 15th St.
 
The houses all boast new and modern kitchens with open floor plans on the first floor, master bedrooms with closet space, and new, modern bathrooms. On the outside, the houses all have new roofs, gutters and paint, while the interiors have new and updated plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems. They’ve also been rehabbed to high-efficiency standards, including added insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and Energy Star appliances.
 
For those interested in purchasing an NSP home, the City of Covington has financing programs available, through which buyers are required to borrow only what is termed an “affordable amount,” which is determined based on the buyer’s income. The city can provide interest-free, forgivable loans to supplement the affordable mortgage amount and the price of the home.
 
The program’s income limits are higher than other homebuyer programs—NSP allows households up to 120 percent of HUD Area Median Income ($57,700 for a single person household and $82,450 for a four-person household).

For more information regarding the program or find out if you qualify to purchase an NSP home, contact Jeremy Wallace via phone at (859) 292-2163 or via e-mail.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Beasley Place housing development coming to OTR

Two buildings on Republic Street in Over-the-Rhine will soon become a 14-unit affordable housing project called Beasley Place. Redevelopment of 1405 and 1407 Republic St. will begin this fall, and should be finished by fall 2014.
 
The project is named for Willie and Fannie Beasley, who were former residents of one of the buildings. They were long-time residents of the building, and their roots ran deep on Republic Street—everyone knew them, says Ashleigh Finke, project manager at Over-the-Rhine Community Housing.
 
“I think the story behind the name really captures why we as an organization exists,” she says. “There are many wonderful people like the Beasleys who have strong roots in the neighborhood and contribute so much to the heart and soul of OTR that we want to make sure are able to continue to live in OTR.”
 
Beasley Place, which is a five-story historic building with about 23,000 square feet, will contain six one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units, ranging from 681 to 1,402 square feet. Ten of the apartments are designated for people with incomes below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, and three units are earnarked for people with incomes below 30 percent of AMI.
 
There will also be about 1,200 square feet of first floor, storefront commercial space, plus an elevator and on-site laundry for residents. The building will meet enterprise green communities requirements and will have Energy Star appliances and lighting.
 
The total cost of the Beasley Place project is just under $3 million. The buildings are owned and will be developed by OTRCH, and HGC Construction is the general contractor of the project.
 
The project is receiving state and federal historic tax credits, City of Cincinnati HOME funding, City of Cincinnati Lead Education and Remediation (CLEAR) grant funding, and Housing Development Gap Financing from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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