Homeowner/Buyer Resources

Residential Tax Abatements

When you build a new home or invest in renovations, your property taxes can go up. The City of Cincinnati’s Residential Property Tax Abatement allows owners to pay taxes on the pre-improvement value of their property for 10-15 years. Property tax abatement is available for any increased valuation that results from improvements to the property for new construction and renovation.

Tax abatement benefits stay with the property the entire length of the abatement and transfer to any new property owner within the approved time period. Please note that applications should be submitted with a $250 application fee.

Compliance Assistance Repairs for the Elderly (CARE) Program

The CARE Program serves the people of Cincinnati through the efforts of the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) by providing grants to low income, elderly or disabled homeowner-occupants to correct City of Cincinnati code violations issued pursuant to the Neighborhood Enhancement Program’s (NEP) “house to house” exterior property condition inspection. Services may include repairs to a leaking roof, dilapidated porch, unsafe stairs, defective siding, painting and other similar repairs required under the Cincinnati Housing Code. To apply or for more information, please contact the Community Action Agency at 513-569-1840 ext. 1466.

Downpayment Assistance

The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) Program is designed to assist first-time homebuyers who want to purchase a home within the City of Cincinnati.

Applicants may be awarded up to $5,000 in the form of a five-year forgivable loan for a down payment and/or closing costs.

The City is currently accepting ADDI applications. Please contact 513-352-6146 for additional information.

Housing Repair Services (HRS) Program

Housing Repair Services Program (HRS) provides home repairs and accessibility modifications to low-income homeowners, particularly elderly and/or disabled owners. The services allow owner-occupants to remain in their dwelling units and help maintain the quality of housing stock in the City.

HRS offers the following type of repairs to qualified households:

Emergency Repairs – up to $2,500 and limited to two per household per year, examples include:
Broken water lines where water is pouring, not dripping, out of the line; Client’s only accessible toilet is stopped up or otherwise unusable; Presence of gas fumes; No heat; AC not working in  heat emergency where a member of the household is vulnerable due to health conditions. An electrical condition that poses a fire threat.

Immediate Repairs – up to $5,000 and can include:
modifications and accessibility improvements for physically disabled individuals like wheelchair ramps, electric lifts, grab bars/handrails.

Critical Repairs – up to $10,000 and can include:
Defects affecting the integrity of the structure or shell of the house like leaking roofs and gutters, decayed and/or damaged siding, failing foundations, damaged or failed support beams.

Eligibility Requirements

Individual homeowner occupants of property, not exceeding 3 dwelling units per building, of which one unit is occupied by the owner, within the boundaries of the City of Cincinnati. For repairs up to $10,000 in the Emergency Repairs, Immediate Repairs, and Critical Repairs programs, homeowners meeting these criteria must qualify by income, which in the previous 12-month period shall not exceed a maximum of 50 percent of the median income for the City, and by family size, as defined by HUD. In cases in which a Critical Repair exceeds $10,000 AND City approval occurs, then the homeowner’s income cannot exceed a maximum of 35 percent of the median income for the City, during the previous 12-month period, and the homeowner must be 60 years old or older, or be disabled.

Agency: Department of Community and Economic Development (513) 352-6146
Service Provider: People Working Cooperatively (513) 351-7921
Service Provider: Max Construction Group (513) 381-1893

Eligibility Requirements

Foreclosure Prevention

The Homeowner Preservation Initiative
The City of Cincinnati has contracted with Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) to provide help to residents in danger of losing their homes. WIN has agreements with Smart Money, the Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, and the Better Housing League to also provide these services.

Emergency Mortgage Assistance
Low- and moderate-income homeowners who face foreclosure due to job loss, illness, death of primary wage earner, or other circumstances beyond their control can get help to bring their loan current if they have re-established an income stream to continue future mortgage payments. One-time assistance of up to $2,500 is available.

Working in Neighborhoods
Homeowner Preservation Initiative

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Home Buyer Training Classes

For first time homebuyers, the process of buying a home may seem a bit overwhelming. The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati and Working In Neighborhoods offer Home Buyer Training Programs to help you buy and keep your own home.

HOC Training

WiN Training

Lead Paint Hazard Control Grant Program

The City of Cincinnati has a federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that can help control lead paint, dust and soil hazards in residential properties. If you own residential property built before 1978, you may be eligible to take part in this Lead Hazard Control Program. Click on the links to download the applications.

Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)

HOPWA is a federal program that provides funding for housing opportunities for people with AIDS. The HOPWA program in Cincinnati is administered by Strategies to End Homelessness, Inc.

Strategies to End Homelessness

Community Resources

Community Councils

Community councils are a crucial link between the City and its many unique neighborhoods, and each council is as unique as the neighborhood it serves.  These organizations ensure that neighborhood development responds to the needs and goals of its citizens.  The councils are also a vehicle for communication and engagement throughout neighborhoods. Get more information about your Community Council.

Community Development Corporations

Community development corporations are a tremendous resource and link for citizens to become involved in their communities.

Tax Increment Finance Districts

Tax Increment Finance Districts are a tax increment structure established in 2002 and 2005 that blankets a larger number of sites, typically centered on neighborhood business districts. The increment collected in these districts can be used to make public improvements that benefit or serve the district in which the increment was collected.

Community Entertainment Districts

A Community Entertainment District is a bounded area that includes or will include a combination of entertainment, retail, educational, sporting, social, cultural, or arts establishments. Under Ohio Law, the number of liquor licenses in a jurisdiction is limited based on its population. The establishment of a CED allows for a limited increased number of liquor licenses within the geographical boundaries of that CED.

Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program (NBDIP)

The Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program (NBDIP) is an award-winning program that allocates annual funding for improvement projects that attract and retain small businesses in all Cincinnati neighborhood business districts (NBDs).

The program is highly versatile. It can directly benefit a business district with parking additions, façade improvements, or building renovations. It can also provide indirect benefits by funding streetscapes or wayfinding signage to make the district more appealing to customers and residents.

Neighborhood Business District Support Fund (NBDSF)

The City’s Neighborhood Business District Support Fund (NBDSF) provides annual funding to Community Councils, Business Association, and/or Community Development Corporations for projects and activities that enhance the vibrancy of the recognized neighborhood business districts (NBD).

Each approved NBDSF proposal includes activities/projects designed for successful outcomes that positively impact the neighborhood business district. DCED has determined that the following uses enhance neighborhood business districts:

  • Organizational Development
  • Physical Improvements
  • NBD Promotional Activities
  • Collaboration between the Neighborhood Business Association, Community Council, and/or Community Development Corporation
  • Other projects or activities improving the quality of life/serve public needs that are consistent with the NBDSF Guidelines.

Neighborhood Support Program

The City’s Neighborhood Support Program provides funding to community councils for neighborhood projects and activities.

Self-determination and community improvement are the foundations of the program. Through the Neighborhood Support Program, the City extends a challenge to its neighborhoods: “What can we do together to improve the quality of life in your community?”

Hand Up Initiative

The Hand Up Initiative is a mix of job readiness and job training programs designed to help the long-term under or unemployed individuals transition to employment and to self-sufficiency.  By teaching and equipping Hand Up participants with essential skills to operate in the workforce, our Hand Up partners are helping countless Cincinnatians lay the building blocks to long-term employment.

Call one of our partners about a program that fits your needs

General Job Readiness
(Urban League)

General Job Readiness
(Cincinnati Works)

CDL Truck Driver
513-569-1840 ext. 1466

Culinary Job Training
(Cincinnati COOKS!)

Home Care Aide
(Mercy Neighborhood Ministries)
513-751-2500 ext. 226

Administrative, Culinary, Construction, & Landscaping

On-the-job Construction Training
(Easter Seals & Building Value)

Urban Agriculture Grants

The City of Cincinnati is offering mini-grants to support urban agriculture in 2019. Funds are available for agricultural production and growing sites as well as aggregation distribution sites. To qualify for funding, the location of the growing site or distribution site must be within the City of Cincinnati. Applicants can be non-profit or for profit corporations and other entities may be considered. Grants are not made to individuals.

Renter Resources

Tenant Representation

Through the Tenant Representation Project, the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati provides legal representation for low-income tenants who have legal problems related to tenant-landlord relations, including evictions, lockouts, landlord interference with utility service, enforcement of housing and health codes, and other tenant rights.

In addition to direct representation, Legal Aid also provides written information to low-income tenants concerning the return of security deposits, defense of claims for back rent, lockouts, use of rent escrow procedures, use of public housing grievance procedures or other housing-related problems.

If you have a legal concern related to your housing situation and would like to find out how Legal Aid can help, please contact them at 513-241-9400 or visit the organization’s website.

Fair Housing

Cincinnati is committed to fair housing practices citywide.  Our partner organizations help us eliminate unlawful housing discrimination. As a city, we actively enforce housing regulations to promote stable city communities.

For more information, contact Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E.)