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Council Member Suggests $50M Of Federal Stimulus Go To Affordable Housing Fund

Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney at a recent council meeting
City of Cincinnati
Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney at a recent council meeting

A Cincinnati council member wants the city to consider putting federal money from the latest COVID-19 stimulus plan in the affordable housing trust fund.

Cincinnati is set to get more than $290 million from the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law last week.

Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney filed a motion asking for a report to determine the feasibility of putting $50 million of that into the affordable housing fund.

"We've had this problem - it didn't start with COVID, but COVID has made it a lot worse," Kearney said. "A lot of people have lost their jobs, lost their homes."

The fund currently has about $1.5 million, and no dedicated funding source.

"This $50 million would be a one-time donation, but we are looking at what we can do next so that there's ongoing funding," Kearney said.

Kearney's motion is unrelated to a charter amendment put forward by advocates that would require an annual allocation of $50 million into the housing fund. City officials have strongly opposed that amendment, saying it would require hundreds of layoffs. Voters will decide in the May election. 

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Becca Costello