Over-the-Rhine Community Housing has roots that begin in 1978 as a solution to the problem of homelessness. Volunteers at the Drop Inn Center had few solutions to offer the residents of the shelter at that time, so they decided to start a community housing organization. Slowly, property acquisitions were made through various means, including donations by building owners, private donations, loans, etc. As the portfolio expanded, the organization focused both on housing the homeless and as a place low-income households could access safe and decent housing from a responsible owner. Today, we own 142 properties and manage 410 units of affordable housing in Over-the-Rhine. The types of housing include permanent supportive housing for the homeless (including shelter plus care), low-income tax credit housing, section 8 housing, transitional housing for the homeless, senior housing, and conventional low-income housing. Our housing is located in the various areas of Over-the-Rhine, including Washington Park, Pendleton, Findlay Market, and the northern parts of the neighborhood including East Clifton Avenue, Peete Street, and McMicken Avenue. We have also participated in the demand for market-rate owner occupied housing with our very successful City Home project.
Over-the-Rhine Community Housing accomplishes its mission, in part, by offering supportive housing to homeless individuals and families. We do this in partnership with many organizations, including Strategies to End Homelessness, Shelterhouse, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, and more. We operate the following programs:
Anna Louise Inn
Over-the-Rhine Community Housing is honored to be a part of the Anna Louise Inn (ALI) legacy. We serve as co-developer of ALI’s new home with Cincinnati Union Bethel. The Model Group is the general contractor and consultant to the project.
It was four years ago, March 2010, when Steve Smith of the Model Group and Steve MacConnell of Cincinnati Union Bethel attended our board meeting and invited us to participate in the redevelopment and preservation of the ALI. We were honored, and never could have predicted where the journey would eventually lead.
Congratulations to the ALI team; the dedicated funders, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, City of Cincinnati, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and Strategies to End Homelessness; and the many supporters who persevered with the project over the past several years.
Located at the corner of Reading Road and Kinsey Street in Mt. Auburn (across the street from the United Way building), the Inn provides 85 units of affordable housing with support services. Construction was completed in summer 2015. Cincinnati Union Bethel, thanks for including us in your journey.
In 1990, the Spring Street House opened as a result of a partnership of several local homeless advocacy groups, including the Homeless Coalition of Greater Cincinnati. Six large, affordable housing units were set aside for formerly homeless individuals and families. These are still reserved for the homeless today.
Since 1996, the Recovery Hotel has been offering permanent supportive housing for men and women. The building has 20 units of housing for homeless persons in recovery from substance abuse. Counseling and support staff are located on-site. Narcotics Anonymous meets in the lobby on a daily basis.
Since 1999, buddy’s place, named after homeless advocate buddy gray, has been offering permanent supportive housing to men and women. The building provides 20 units of housing for homeless individuals. A case manager works with all 20 participants on employment, treatment, medical care, education, and referral services.
East Clifton Homes
In 1999, East Clifton Homes was placed in service. Eleven homeless families and individuals are able to be placed in permanent housing at any given time across 3 buildings on East Clifton Avenue. Participants work with a case manager to achieve their personal goals while maintaining housing.
Nannie Hinkston House
In 2007, the Nannie Hinkston House was opened as a partnership with Shelterhouse (formerly Drop Inn Center). Named after long-time resident and youth activist Nannie Hinkston, the building provides twelve transitional housing beds for homeless men and women recovering from substance use. Support staff is located on-site.
Jimmy Heath House
In 2010, the Jimmy Heath House was opened to serve the longest term homeless individuals in our community. The project is based on the “housing first” principle, the idea that chronically homeless people can become clinically and socially stable faster when homelessness is eliminated. The project has 25 units of housing, 24 hour front desk staff, a large community room, and an outdoor courtyard for resident use. OTRCH partnered with 3CDC on the development of the building and now with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCB) to provide on-site services.
Shelter Plus Care
OTRCH administers about 115 scattered-site rental subsidies to homeless men and women at any given time. Referrals come from shelter and street outreach workers. A majority of persons referred are the chronically (long-term) homeless. Homeless service providers will follow their referrals after they obtain housing.
Beyond housing, OTRCH staff work tirelessly to coordinate and plan activities for residents and their children, including having block parties, bringing children to summer camps, providing art programming on a weekly basis, and getting youth involved in Soap Box Derby. We value our partners who make this possible.
Affordable Housing Projects
North Rhine I and II
The first major development by OTRCH (then called OTR Housing Network), North Rhine I and II were completed in 1990 and brought 97 units on line following the complete renovation of 17 historic buildings in OTR.
Sharp Village is a 36 unit, 10 building development completed in 1998 on East Clifton Avenue and Peete Street in Over-the-Rhine. This development provides residents a unique laundry room, pocket park, and some off-street parking. The laundry room was designed and built by the Miami University Architecture Studio.
Sharp Village Annex
Sharp Village Annex is a 40 unit, 10 building development completed in 2000. This development compliments the Sharp Village project. Many were involved in the financing of this project and volunteer crews from the Drop Inn Center were instrumental in saving 122 Mulberry from demolition so that it could provide housing for the community.
St Anthony Village
Five historic buildings and the corner of Green and Vine Streets in Over-the-Rhine were developed in 2002. Over-the-Rhine Community Housing is the owner of the 22 unit project and Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity manages the day to day operations and administers their Renter Equity Program to residents of the project.
Vine Street Community Project
Five abandoned buildings were fully gutted and renovated to provide 25 units of affordable housing on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. The project was completed in 2003.
Completed in 2005, Community Views is a scattered site development of 12 units located on East Clifton Avenue in Over-the-Rhine. These units are part of Cornerstone’s Renter Equity program and serves people at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and below.
The OTR Revitalization Project was a collaborative project with Model Development Group in 2006. The beautiful Section 8 preservation project of 94 units serving 50% AMI and below is a scattered site development in located in and around Over-the-Rhine.
In partnership with the Model Group, Magnolia Heights is a Section 8 preservation project that fully renovated 98-unit scattered site apartments and was completed in 2008.
Elder and Moeller High Schools came together and put 3 years of sweat and labor into a vacant building at 1421 Republic to make it a perfect home for a long-term low-income family in OTR. The building was placed in service in 2011.
North Rhine Heights
In partnership with the Model Group, North Rhine Heights is a Section 8 preservation project that fully renovated 65 scattered site units and 14 historic buildings. The project was placed in service in 2012.
Completed in 2013, City Home is a project of 24 units of home ownership located on and around Pleasant Street in Over-the-Rhine. Partners include Eber Development, Schickel Design (Martha Dorff), and 3CDC.
1500 Elm Street Senior Housing
1500 Elm Street is Over-the-Rhine’s first housing project for senior citizens. The renovation of this former Christian Moerlein building was completed in 2014 in partnership with the Model Group and houses 15 low-income seniors. Amenities include an elevator, secure courtyard, multiple activity rooms, and on-site social worker.
Beasley Place is located at 1405 Republic Street. It is named after long-time OTR tenants Willie and Fannie Beasley. Beasley Place will be a historic rehabilitation that will result in 13 affordable, family units. The project includes a new elevator and common laundry room as well as approximately 1,200 square feet of first floor commercial space.
Developed in partnership with Wallick Communities, Cutter Apartments is an existing 40 unit, 8 building, scattered site affordable apartment community in the Pendleton Neighborhood. The apartments are subsidized by a project-based subsidy through HUD, which allows residents to pay 30% of their adjusted gross income on rent and utilities. These buildings were renovated in the 1990’s, but were in desperate need of improvement to meet today’s living and safety standards. This affordable housing will be preserved for another 30 years, which is critical as the Pendleton neighborhood has seen an increase in market rate development in the last couple of years near the new casino. Cutter Apartments opened in November 2016.
This project is critical to preserving 48 units of existing subsidized affordable housing in OTR. All of the units were at risk of the rental subsidy being canceled due to deferred maintenance and the potential sale of the properties for market rate development. OTRCH and The Model Group partnered to take control of the properties and preserve the subsidy at 34 of the existing units, and relocate the subsidy from properties that had already been sold for market rate development to 14 new units in order to keep the subsidy within the neighborhood. Construction on Morgan Apartments is scheduled to begin in summer 2017.
Carrie’s Place will preserve 11 units of permanent supportive housing and will create 10 new units of permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless. Additionally, the project will preserve 25 units of project-based rental subsidy within the neighborhood that was threatened due to severe deferred maintenance and the sale of the property to another owner for market rate development. The subsidy will be relocated to 25 existing units owned by OTRCH that will be redeveloped as part of the project and brought up to modern day standards with improvements including central air conditioning and all new finishes and fixtures. Construction on Carrie’s Place is scheduled to begin in summer 2017.