To help preserve homes in the neighborhood—and to address housing issues, a leading social determinant of health—Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is expanding the popular Avondale Home Improvement Program (AHIP). This expansion furthers Cincinnati Children’s mission of improving the lives of children, in partnership with the Uptown Consortium and the Avondale Community Development Corporation.
AHIP provides interest-free home improvement loans up to $35,000. The loans are designed to help home owners improve living conditions by fixing critical exterior home repairs that often contribute to safety and health concerns. If recipients stay in their home for more than five years, the loan is forgiven.
By investing in AHIP, Cincinnati Children’s is able to continue its commitment to the community by making a difference in the area of housing and community development, which has a direct relationship to overall community health. AHIP contributes to Cincinnati Children’s larger efforts to prevent health and safety issues and improve residents’ well-being in the surrounding communities.
“AHIP is improving the housing conditions and overall quality of life in the community,” said John Scott, Community Relations Program Manager, Cincinnati Children’s. “It supports the availability of a mix of housing products in the area and complements other housing initiatives.”
When AHIP launched in 2014 with a $250,000 contribution from Cincinnati Children’s, the program was only available to home owners in certain parts of Avondale. But based on the program’s success, Cincinnati Children’s agreed to invest another $244,000 to expand AHIP to two new sections of the Avondale neighborhood. Moving forward, it’s possible that the program will continue and expand to even more parts of Avondale.
Combination of old and new
Along with helping repair existing homes, Cincinnati Children’s is helping build new homes in Avondale to attract more residents. Uptown Consortium and Cincinnati Children’s Hickory Place Townhomes project originally consisted of eight newly-built townhomes on Northern Avenue, but demand was so high for the first phase in 2015 that they quickly started plans to build eight more.
The townhomes are different than many of the current housing options in Avondale with new amenities to attract working professionals. They range in price from $185,000 to $229,000 even though each townhome costs roughly $300,000 to build. They’re sold significantly below market value because Cincinnati Children’s donated $1.1 million to offset construction costs and keep prices more affordable.
Now, the Hickory Place Townhomes are the largest new housing development to be constructed in Avondale in at least 25 years.
Part of a larger effort
From refurbishing old homes to building new ones, Cincinnati Children’s is dedicated to creating a safer, healthier and more vibrant community in Avondale.
But community development and residential housing is just one piece of Cincinnati Children’s involvement in the community. The hospital pledged to invest $11.5 million in Avondale to improve child and community health, encourage development, strengthen local nonprofits and support workforce development.