Some Avondale residents have housing security during the pandemic

A unique residential model in Cincinnati gives renters a safety net, which allows for some security, especially now. As people lose jobs and incomes due to the pandemic, those who live in properties where they equity credits are ensured that their rent will stay permanently affordable. Those credits also can be exchanged for cash after five years.


Participants of the program — dividend housing — attend monthly tenant meetings and help maintain their properties.


“Owning doesn’t work for everybody and renting doesn’t work for everybody,” says Margery Spinney, who pioneered the dividend housing model with Carol Smith under the organization Renting Partnerships. “This is a third way. But we’re sort of running a business with the control [of the buildings] upside down. Not everyone sees the value.”

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