More Westside low-income housing news


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From the 11/28/05 Cincinnati Business Courier:

New owners to spruce up Fay complex
Dan Monk
Senior Staff Reporter

A Washington, D.C., nonprofit plans to invest $35 million to buy and renovate one of Cincinnati's largest low-income housing complexes in an attempt to upgrade units and reduce crime at the Fay Apartments.

The 893-unit West Side community would be renovated and downsized by more than 150 units under a memorandum of understanding signed recently between the National Housing Trust and Fay's current owner, downtown-based Stern-Hendy Properties Inc.

"The property is old and tired. It has to be renovated in the next couple of years or shut down," said David Hendy, Stern-Hendy's co-founder and president.

Fay's renovation would avert another seismic shift in the supply of affordable-housing units. Previous shifts, driven by bankruptcies and demolitions of large low-income communities in Over-the-Rhine, the West End and Bond Hill, triggered major demographic changes and complaints about crime and blight in West Side neighborhoods.

Stern-Hendy acquired Fay Apartments in 1985 from the city of Cincinnati, agreeing to invest $6 million in renovation as part of the purchase. It has run the complex on rental subsidies under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's project-based Section 8 program. Residents pay up to 30 percent of their monthly income, and HUD pays the rest. Rents run from $350 to $475 a month, but that could increase by about 40 percent if HUD approves Stern-Hendy's deal with the Housing Trust.

Hendy said the two-year renovation would be completed in phases. When finished, Stern-Hendy would continue to manage the 700 to 750 units. The number of larger, three-bedroom apartments would increase and all units would be equipped with air conditioning. Security improvements would include the incorporation of "defensible space" principles in the architectural design and service programs aimed at helping residents find jobs and improve their education.

"When we upgrade this property and it has more curb appeal, we would be able to attract and retain a better resident. That's our hope," Hendy said.

An official with the Housing Trust said the Fay transaction is one of nearly a dozen that his group is contemplating. He hopes to complete due diligence on the project and make a final decision on the deal by January.

"Our mission is to preserve affordable housing," said Scott Kline, vice president with Enterprise Preservation Corp., an affiliate of the National Housing Trust. "It's more likely to happen than not."

Fay Apartments would be the latest of several large, low-income housing properties to undergo dramatic changes in the last five years. The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority converted its largest projects, Lincoln Court and Laurel Homes in the West End, into mixed-income communities called City West. Rising vacancies in North Fairmount might lead CMHA to demolish much of its English Woods complex. The bankruptcy of Over-the-Rhine landlord Tom Denhart put dozens of low-income properties into the hands of market-rate developers. And the city of Cincinnati demolished the Huntington Meadows complex to make way for a new subdivision in Bond Hill.

At the same time, low-income residents have flocked to Price Hill, Westwood and Mount Airy, where plentiful lower-rent apartment properties have attracted low-income tenants, subsidized under HUD's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

Fay also has been the target of crime complaints. Police statistics show the community generated more than 2,200 calls in the first 10 months of 2005, with officers taking 175 reports of serious, or Part 1 crimes. The list includes two murders, five rapes and 79 burglaries. In April, after a trio of shootings at Fay, Westwood resident Christopher Kearney asked the city to pursue a nuisance complaint against Stern-Hendy.

"There is a disproportionate amount of violent crimes being committed in this relatively small geographic area," Kearney wrote to Melanie Reising, an assistant city prosecutor. "Can you please review the crimes, arrests, calls for service, EMS runs to Fay Apartments to form your own legal opinion of its status as a likely public nuisance?"

City spokeswoman Meg Olberding said Reising investigated Kearney's concerns but "didn't find actionable support" for a nuisance complaint. Stern-Hendy said it spends more than $100,000 a year hiring off-duty police officers to patrol Fay, and it screens tenants to avoid criminal trouble.

Nearly all of the crime at Fay, they say, is committed by people who come to the low-income community from other parts of the city.

Hendy has been trying to work out financing arrangements for a Fay renovation for several years. He invited the Housing Trust into the deal because new federal rules allow nonprofit owners to receive higher rent subsidies. He's trying to put together a financing package that includes $4 million in loans and grants from the city of Cincinnati, about $15 million from the sale of low-income housing tax credits and a roughly $16 million first mortgage.

As part of the deal, a syndicate of investors would buy the 80-acre complex from Stern-Hendy at a yet-to-be determined price. Hendy said he's seeking $4 million for the real estate, but that number could go lower if financing and construction costs rise. Kline said the investors likely would hire Stern-Hendy to continue managing the property.

"We think they do a good job," Kline said.

© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.


Active member
as a neo-Westsider (i've lived in Price Hill for a month or so), i generally think that ya'll complaints about crime as related to the influx of low-income tenants are greatly exaggerated. i have a stat that i think will bear that out, and i'm going to do the math in a second.

however, THIS ONE looks like a bad one. Renovation (obviously) will involve temporary closure and displacement. Cincy's out of housing projects since English Woods closed, and where's the vast majority of low-income housing in the city located? Bingo.

i can't think of any outer-city locations that'll really work for this displaced population. The Fay is heavily bus-reliant (i'd bet only 20% of the populace owns a car), which means that the newly Section 8 properties in places like Springdale and Forest Park (which have little to no public transportation) wouldn't fit for the clientele.

Don Flamenco

This sucks. Why? Because the 150 less complexes will end up spreading them out all over the west-side and in turn spreading crime more throughout the west-side instead of one concentrated area.

The CMHA will never place these people on the east-side, why? Because all of the CMHA board members except one are east-siders, so they definitely dont want "these people" "infesting" their neighborhoods...

Also, this rennovation wont do squat, it will give these tenants nice homes for about a year and then they will be run down and deterioated again? Why is this? Because people who dont own their property generally dont respect their property.

The government sure does a great job of ruining nice neighborhoods...


Active member
Perhaps the complaints are a bit exaggerated, but you would also have to concede that being a new resident in Price Hill, you have no basis for comparison. You also have to consider the part of Price Hill you live in. Price Hill is a shell of what it once was.


Well-known member
withrownatiboy said:
as a neo-Westsider (i've lived in Price Hill for a month or so), i generally think that ya'll complaints about crime as related to the influx of low-income tenants are greatly exaggerated. i have a stat that i think will bear that out, and i'm going to do the math in a second.
Possibly, but most of the discussion is in context of what the area used to be like.

And you can't argue that the housing market has cooled considerably in many westside neighborhoods.


Active member
Don Flamenco said:

The CMHA will never place these people on the east-side, why? Because all of the CMHA board members except one are east-siders, so they definitely dont want "these people" "infesting" their neighborhoods...

if Westside property owners weren't so quick to sell, that problem wouldn't exist. Also, the east side of the city just doesn't feature the type of real estate (large apartment complexes, four-families, and starter homes) that CMHA can buy for cheap. The east side areas that do (Madisonville, Evanston, Kennedy Heights, parts of Pleasant Ridge) have plenty of voucher housing. ----, the Fay's land is only valued at $4 million, or a whopping 4,500 per unit.


Active member
That's not true. Drive over the Beechmont Levy and up the hill. There are plenty of those types of properties all over the place. ----, there's plenty of those types of places throughout Anderson, Amelia, Batavia, Newtown. To say those properties only exist on the Westside is nonsense.

Elder Alum

New member
CMHA Units as of June 2005 total 24,695 and include:

East Price Hill 917
Lower Price Hill 146
West Price Hill 507
Westwood 1258
Delhi 125
Green Township 74
S. Fairmont 407
Fay Apartments 806
English Woods 575
West End 1404
Winton Hills 1550
Colerain Twp 235
Mt Healthy 247

Amberly Village 2
Blue Ash 29
Mariemont 2
Mt Adams 0
Mt Lookout 0
Hyde Park 10
Fairfax 3
Greenhills 19
Indian Hill 1
Milford 0
Montgomery 5
Newtown 7
Terrace Park 0
Wyoming 24
St Bernard 36
Linwood 4
East End 20
Winton Place 76
Newtown 7
Sharonville 7
Crosby Twp 1
Columbia Twp 7
Glendale 8
University Heights 18
Carthage 43
Woodlawn 39
Evandale 0
Deer Park 17
Bond Hill 196
Hartwell 71
Kennedy Heights 158
Arlington Heights 18
Golf Manor 164
Lockland 141
Reading 95
Sycamore Twp 45
Symmes Twp 66


New member
I am curious where Mt. Washington is on that list. Their has been a demographic change in that neighborhood over the last 10 years. I wonder if it is because of an increase in CMHA housing vouchers or just a migration out of neighborhoods like Madisonville, and Kennedy Heights.

Elder Alum

New member
Mt Washington 206

Not all neighborhoods were included above. As you can see there are plenty of neighborhoods to place Assisted Units beyond the west side. Bond Hill only has 196 units. The East Side has plenty of suitable housing.


New member
Elder Alum said:
The numbers shown in my earlier post were taken from CMHA data and are accurate.
What is the website address you got the info from.?

I was a little surpised that Delhi (125) has more than Winton Place (76) and almost as many as Lower Price Hill (140)


Active member
You mean "neuter," right cinelder80? Many hillbillies can't spell very well and I would not want them confused by your post.