1The Housing Forum on Vacant and Blighted Properties was held August 5th.

Out of this meeting, the Housing Forum team created goals to abate the problems of vacant and foreclosed properties.

More about the Forum’s goals here

Since the initial Housing Forum meeting, CUFA has moved forward with many of its objectives:

  • Public officials have made headways in making absentee owners more accountable for property maintenance. In June, Ohio House Bill 138 passed that requires banks to take the title (and therefore legal responsibility) of a property no later than 14 days after the foreclosure sale. In September, City Council member Jeff Berding and Hamilton County Recorder Rebecca Prem Groppe announced a partnership to share information more efficiently to locate the owner of a property.
  • CUFA held a meeting on a proposed Hamilton County Housing and Environmental Court, which would replace the current one-day housing docket with a full-time housing court in Hamilton County. It would be able to make neglect and blight a criminal offense for banks not properly maintaining their properties. CUFA members have been part of the movement for the creation of the Hamilton County Housing and Environmental Court.
  • In July 2008, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, in which $3.92 billion was funded for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Cincinnati received $8.3 million of the one-time NSP funding in an effort to aid the neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. CUFA hosted the public input session on the funding to ensure that the people who are most affected by the foreclosure crisis helped to create the project proposal. The Cincinnati Director of Community Development as well as some Cincinnati City Council members came to listen to the concerns and requests of the Housing Forum group. CUFA’s input helped to increase money for both demolition and rehab, and added funding for more building inspectors.
  • CUFA continues its collaboration with the city of Cincinnati through hosting meetings on the NSP funding and will continue its dialogue with public officials on this program as well as any other upcoming initiatives.