Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Price Hill, City celebrate first NSP rehab and sale

The first house in the City of Cincinnati to be rehabilitated and sold using federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding was dedicated during a Monday morning ceremony.

The three-bedroom home at in East Price Hill was completed by Price Hill Will using a portion of the $8.4 million Cincinnati was awarded out of $3.92 billion earmarked in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Jim Cunningham, Cincinnati Field Office Director with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, praised Price Hill Will and the City of Cincinnati for the speed in which they turned that funding around.

"The NSP program is meant to address vacant homes that have a debilitating effect on neighborhoods and lead to reduced property values, blight, and neighborhood decay," he said. "They've been able to reduce that trend and increase values."

"We are very excited that, within the next week or so, the new homeowners will be closing," said Price Hill Will Executive Director Ken Smith. "We'll have even more people moving into our neighborhood, investing in our community, and calling it home."

Through the NSP, East and West Price Hill has received $819,000 in development subsidy and homeowners assistance and an additional $504,000 in funding for the demolition of non-salvageable buildings. With those funds, Price Hill Will plans on rehabbing and additional 19 homes in East and West Price Hill for homeownership, eleven of which have been purchased or are under contract. At least 36 nuisance properties will be razed.

Smith credited the vision of Congressman Steve Driehaus, neighborhood resident and one of the forces that helped create Price Hill Will.

"This is a thrill for me to be here," Driehaus said. "When we started Price Hill Will – before we were incorporated – there was a group of us that got together and we were talking about the challenges facing our neighborhood. And at that time, there were so many challenges that came from predatory lending, from investors that were purchasing properties and really stripping the equity from those properties."

Price Hill Will started as a response to those challenges, he said.

"I'm happy to be the federal representative who's working to get those NSP dollars to neighborhoods like Price Hill, because we understand that while this recession has been tremendously difficult – and it certainly started within the housing market – we need to do everything we can to restore that housing market," Driehaus said. "And that means putting funding back into neighborhoods like Price Hill to make sure that these are viable, livable communities."

The home is the sixth on the street completed by Price Hill Will. They expect to close on the neighboring property, a Dutch Colonial at 924 Seton Avenue, next week.

"We sometimes talk about strengthening, enhancing, stabilizing a neighborhood one house at a time," said Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney. "But clearly when you can have several houses that are impacted on the same block, you start to have a more dramatic impact on the area. It starts to be more noticeable to people that there is a momentum afoot."

Since 2004, the non-profit has completed or is in the process of completing the rehabilitation of 38 properties. During that same period, the average sale price of homes in West Price Hill's Cedar Grove sub-neighborhood has risen by $14,000, and the average sale price of homes in East Price Hill's Incline District is up $6,000.

"That doesn't seem quite that possible to me," Smith said. "I don't know how we got from that one to 38, but here we are."

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati tax liens would help recover $607K in NSP funds (12/16/09)
Price Hill Will unveils latest successful rehab (9/2/09)
TIF funding approved for Glenway redevelopment (5/28/09)
Cincinnati creates accounts for HUD stabilization funds (5/28/09)
Neighborhood stabilization funding to be tweaked (5/13/09)


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