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Together, we can solve our region’s affordable housing crisis.
We previously shared with you LISC’s Housing Our Future report, the culmination of a year-long collaboration between public, private and nonprofit leaders, for which Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) was a partner, convener and funder. It outlines strategies to help everyone in Cincinnati and Hamilton County have access to quality affordable housing in the places they want to live.
As we have a deficit of 40,000 affordable and available housing units, the need for action is urgent.
GCF launched the Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP), which funds the construction of high-quality rental units and the building of renters’ equity accounts. We have invested $1 million toward a $5 million targeted fund size to help bridge the affordable housing gap.
To further strengthen our response to the crisis, GCF has partnered with Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF), which fills gaps not covered by traditional lenders, providing funding for real estate development in under-served markets in the Greater Cincinnati area. The AHIIP will help enable CDF to make these affordable loans available to developers.
Now, you can help ensure our families in need have quality, affordable housing in three ways:
With impact investing, donors enjoy two types of returns: a social return, because our community benefits from their generosity, and a financial return. The investments have a 1 percent return rate every year, in addition to a return-of-investment guarantee. The hope is that donors would then use their financial return to contribute to charitable causes again.
Learn more about our region’s affordable housing crisis and how to help by registering for LISC’s Housing Our Future webinar series and watching recordings of previous events here. If you are interested in learning more about AHIIP, please contact Director of Special Initiatives Robert Killins at (513) 768-6151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A place to call home. It’s a simple dream, but one that for all too many of our neighbors is a financial hardship. Affordable housing is a critical issue in our region, and Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is committed to addressing it as we move into 2019 and beyond.
“Affordable” is defined as not paying more than 30 percent of one’s income for housing.
While median gross rent has increased 46 percent from 2000 to 2014, income has only increased 19 percent during that period. The result is that 30 percent of Hamilton County residents spend 50 to 60 percent of their income on housing, or nearly double the “affordable” range. There is a critical need for 40,000 affordable rental units for households making $14,678 or less, which is 30 percent of Hamilton County’s median income. Read Xavier University’s Community Building Institute report for further information about housing affordability issues in Cincinnati.
GCF is launching a new Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP) early in 2019 to help bridge that daunting housing gap. We are contributing $1 million to our $5 million goal for this pool, and invite you to invest along with us to amplify its impact.
Details of the investment opportunity:
AHIIP projects will focus on the development of a range of affordable housing options throughout GCF’s eight-county region, encompassing Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Anticipated investments will include affordable rental units, home ownership units and such equity-building initiatives as Dividend Housing and Renter Equity.
GCF is offering you this opportunity to join us in this new venture to expand the imprint of various projects addressing this compelling community issue. We will likely determine the initial investments in the first quarter of 2019.
GCF has been a trusted community partner for 55 years, and we know that access to affordable housing is key to lifting people out of poverty. Housing instability impacts the health, work and education of families, and we believe that addressing this need will help to build a better community for all of us.
To become a partner in this transformative work, please contact your GCF philanthropic advisor.
Our region needs 40,000 more affordable housing units. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastating impact on the economy, resulting in job losses and evictions, the crisis will only accelerate. Further, the pandemic and staggering affordable housing gap disproportionately affect the Black community; which already faces the highest unemployment rates in Hamilton County and significant job and wage disparities. The need is urgent.
Our neighbors in poverty cannot work their way out when they are spending over 30% of their income on housing. Poverty is merely the symptom of much broader systemic issues that must be addressed – systems that determine housing placement, fair lending practices, renters’ rights, access to development subsidies and tax abatements.
To achieve equitable, accessible and affordable housing throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County, we must change the existing systems – many of them built on racist principles – that continue to leave too many residents behind, particularly Black women. Tackling the affordable housing crisis means we are addressing a key piece of her ecosystem.
We encourage you to think about how you can help drive this work forward. It’s critical for the growth of our region and for those, especially Black women, who call it home.
Ways to learn more and get involved:
In addition to being a partner and convener for the Housing Our Future strategy, GCF is addressing the housing crisis through the following investments:
Join us in this important work. Contact Robert Killins at email@example.com to learn more.
CINCINNATI (June 2, 2016) —The Greater Cincinnati Foundation was one of eight organizations examined to get an understanding of how impact donor advised funds, an emerging social finance instrument in the philanthropic sector, work in North America in a joint paper released by Social Venture ConneXion (SVX) and Tides Canada.
“It is a well-documented fact amongst those in the social change and philanthropic sectors that, in order to tackle our most pressing social and environmental challenges, we must mobilize capital in both its investment and philanthropic forms," the authors write in the report, "Impact DAFs" A Scan" [PDF]. "This has lead to an explosion of foundations re-aligning their investment portfolios to meet their mission aims. Investment portfolios in this context largely consist of endowment funds, as many private foundations across Canada and the US have actively transformed their investments into mission-supporting vehicles.”
Learn more about Impact Investing at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
This report was written by Marie Ang, Adam Spence, and Todd Jaques and published April 2016. The case study on The Greater Cincinnati Foundation begins on page 10.
Read the full report, “Impact Donor Advised Funds: A Scan” [PDF]
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall
The symposium’s keynote speaker, Jean Case, reported a comment she heard recently from a college student: “Why would you just settle for a financial return?” Case, Chairman of National Geographic Society, founder/CEO of the Case Foundation and a former AOL executive, sees significant societal and cultural shifts around unleashing capitalism — and the power of entrepreneurial-based strategies — as a force for good. In her book, "Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose", those strategies include: make a big bet; be bold, take risks; make failure matter; reach beyond your bubble; and let urgency conquer fear.
CINCINNATI (May 14, 2020) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) are pleased to announce a partnership to address our region’s critical need for affordable housing. The goal is to raise and deploy $5 million over the next five years to support affordable housing development projects throughout GCF’s tri-state, eight-county region.
GCF has made an initial investment of $1 million, and GCF’s Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP) will provide the loan capital for acquisition, predevelopment, renovation and construction of affordable housing in the Greater Cincinnati metro area.
“CDF is grateful for our long-term partnership with GCF,” said Jeanne Golliher, CDF President & CEO. “This new $1 million investment to launch our Affordable Housing Loan Fund is symbolic of GCF’s community leadership on important issues. We value their ongoing confidence in CDF to positively impact the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community with our lending to developers.”
As a result of the partnership and its strong track record of community development financing, CDF was recently awarded a $900,000 competitive, Capital Magnet Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“GCF is pleased that our AHIIP investment partnership – thanks to the generosity of our donors – will enable CDF to leverage this federal grant to support the development of high-quality affordable housing,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President and CEO. “This will make a difference for low-income families, and we invite the community to invest with us in creating a more equitable region where everyone can thrive.”
While the need for safe, affordable housing in our community isn’t new, the coronavirus pandemic has sparked even greater urgency. COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the physical and financial health of our African American neighbors and other people of color, bringing already critical housing disparities to a tipping point. A 2017 housing study conducted by the Community Building Institute and commissioned by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky documented the need for an additional 40,000 units just in Hamilton County for families with incomes of $15,000 or less.
One of the first AHIIP-financed projects involves the renovation of two historic buildings in the 1700 block of Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. “8K Development values inclusion and affordability in its real estate projects and strives to preserve and promote mixed-income communities,” said Michael Chewning, Partner, 8K Development. “Because of CDF’s flexible and competitive loan structure through the AHIIP, we are able to reserve six of the 10 residential units for individuals and families who are making less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.”
For more information about investing with AHIIP, contact Robert Killins at GCF at 513-768-6151. Developers interested in applying for financing for affordable housing projects can contact CDF Loan Officer Mo Adlon at 513-977-7294.
About Cincinnati Development Fund
Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit lending institution that fills gaps not covered by traditional lenders. CDF provides funding for real estate development in under-served markets in the Greater Cincinnati area. Established in 1988, CDF works with financial institutions, community and government leaders and borrowers to support neighborhood revitalization. With high-quality management, sound loan servicing and asset management capacity, CDF has earned investor confidence and sustained high-impact lending that is responsive to community needs.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come.
Nearly 40 GCF donors and community partners joined us for a recent walking tour through Over-the-Rhine devoted to showcasing affordable housing strategies in action. The tour was conducted by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH), which has been driving empowerment for OTR residents through affordable housing for four decades, in part through support by Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) grants. In 2018, OTRCH provided affordable housing for 850 residents — 36 percent of which are children — in more than 410 OTR apartments.
GCF’s work with affordable housing initiatives isn’t new, but this year we are intensifying our focus on this critical component of economic stability. Throughout our region there is a critical need — particularly for those earning $15,000 or less a year — of 40,000 additional affordable housing units (with “affordable” defined as costing no more than 30 percent of income). Adding to the challenge: low-income wages have not kept up with housing cost increases.
GCF is determined to open more doors to such units through our Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP), details of which will be announced in September.
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