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  • Writer's pictureClementine Deck

Connected Communities - Policy Analysis

The City of Cincinnati recently proposed a series of zoning and land use reforms, collectively known as Connected Communities. These policies are intended to help Cincinnati grow into a more accessible, people-focused, diverse, healthy, and connected community for all. Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati (HOME) presents the following policy analysis and recommendations for improvement. HOME is a nonprofit fair housing organization working to eliminate unlawful discrimination in housing in the Greater Cincinnati area. HOME advocates for and enforces housing regulations for all protected classes and promotes stable integrated communities. In October 2022, HOME and a group of more than 30 partners published the Roadmap for Increasing Black Homeownership proposing six key policy recommendations that would increase Black homeownership and preserve existing Black homeowners. One of those recommendations was to modify zoning to be more inclusive. Specifically, the Roadmap recommends allowing “middle-housing” (generally one to four dwelling units) in neighborhoods zoned mostly Single-Family and providing incentives to developers to include housing affordable to lower-income households in market-rate developments.

 

The reforms included in Connected Communities, particularly those concerning middle-housing, are steps toward the creation of stable integrated communities, but the lack of affordable housing provisions and restricted geographic areas limit the effectiveness of the proposal and leaves the housing needs of far too many Cincinnatians unmet. The Connected Communities website claims that “[t]he goal isn’t to build more housing, but to house more people.”

 

To better achieve that goal, HOME recommends:

1) Adopting an inclusionary zoning policy.

2) Expanding the policy target areas to cover the entire City.

3) The continued use of existing programs and the development of new targeted tools to specifically increase affordability and prevent displacement.


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HOME encourages the adoption these recommendations as a part of Connected Communities. While we recommend reforming our City’s outdated zoning code, we cannot separate those efforts from the need for affordable housing in every neighborhood. Our zoning code is only one tool, but it must be an active part of the housing solution.


 Read the full Policy Analysis Below ⬇️

HOME Connected Communities Policy Brief May 2024
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Download PDF • 11.55MB

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