Over-the-Rhine lost most of its income and population in the 1960s, before much subsidized housing existed in the area. Like many inner city neighborhoods all across the country, this exodus was mostly middle and working class people and families leaving for the suburbs.
For decades, policies favoring suburban over urban development set the stage for shrinking land values in the urban core. Declining land values led to declining tax revenues, which in turn stressed the budgets for city services in the area. This cycle continued the neighborhood’s decline, and drove out many of the families who could not afford to leave.
Over the past 20 years, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing has developed over 410 units of affordable housing and currently manages approximately 200 units. We have saved 45 historical buildings from the wrecking ball. We also provide referrals to other housing agencies and shelters.
Consistent with our mission and guiding purpose, we work to ensure that existing, low-wealth residents benefit from our neighborhood revitalization initiatives. Our developments contribute to the local economy through employment opportunities, supporting community businesses by purchasing materials and supplies locally, and by infusing the income tax base of the neighborhood.
Recent studies of community controlled, non-profit housing developments have concluded that the value of property near these developments typically increases. By rehabbing formerly abandoned buildings, and occupying them with a stable tenant base, we increase local property values, improve the social and economic climate of the community, and make a better neighborhood for all.