Local coalition aims to use innovators to keep families in their homes

What would the city of Cincinnati be like with no housing loss? What does it look like for all children in the community to have a stable home to grow up in? Every year, thousands of households in the Greater Cincinnati area face eviction. Eviction is a destabilizing force on everything in a family’s life from employment and academic achievement to healthcare and safety. A recently formed coalition with Strategies to End Homelessness as the lead partner aims to reduce and prevent evictions before housing loss is inevitable.

One Cincinnati resident shared, “It’s tough to be working multiple jobs and still not be able to pay your bills and keep a roof over your family’s heads. You’re forced to make tough decisions: Do I pay my rent or buy food for the next two weeks? Do I put gas in my car to even get to work or buy the medicine my kid needs?”

Using data, tools, insight collection, and communication, ten local organizations are partnering together to find out which is the right intervention at the right time to keep families stable.

The coalition plans to foster partnerships with landlords and impact potential policy changes that will help families before they land on the brink of eviction.  Strategies to End Homelessness president and CEO, Kevin Finn, said “People don't reach out for some sort of service until their crisis has gotten to a certain level, and most of the time by then, it’s too little, too late. What we’re trying to do is identify people before their situation has escalated."

In order to do so, entrepreneurs, innovators, and everyday problem solvers will participate in a one-week sprint to imagine and design systems that can interrupt a family’s path from at-risk for housing loss to homelessness with strategies that offer the right intervention at the right time.

This hack-a-thon is made possible by the housing stabilization Impact Award from the City of Cincinnati. With this award, City Council is funding this collaborative project between multiple organizations and the city to address Cincinnati’s eviction and housing crisis.

The hack-a-thon is currently open to anyone in the Greater Cincinnati area who wants to explore using data science and technology to help people stay in their homes.  The hack-a-thon is scheduled to start Friday, January 26th with a kickoff event detailing an overview of the problem. Councilmember Meeka Owens will deliver the opening remarks.

The pitch presentations of solutions will be in-person the following Friday, February 2nd at 1819 Innovation Hub.

For more information, please visit here: Housing Stabilization Hackathon.
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Read more articles by Miyah Byrd.

Miyah Byrd is a storyteller and advocate based in Ohio. Her work has been featured in KIIONA Magazine, Forge, Human Parts, and ThriveGlobal. She is a former educator whose interests include food insecurity, green energy, and the self-sufficiency of the black community.