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UC College of Law roundtable addresses community need for affordable housing

The University of Cincinnati College of Law will host a group of experts and community leaders to examine housing issues in Cincinnati at the roundtable discussion “Gentrification and Affordable Housing: Urban Legend or Civic Obligation,”  at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Taft Law Center (425 Walnut St., 2nd Fl.). The event is co-sponsored by the Taft Law firm.

As many city neighborhoods undergo significant revitalization, residents struggle to keep up with rising rents.  According to the 2019 County-Wide Housing Strategy Report of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), more than 100,000 households in Hamilton County spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing, which exceeds one measure of affordability. 

In 2017 Cincinnati had the tenth highest eviction rate in the country, driven by escalating rents and poverty.  Almost 12,000 Cincinnatians experienced homelessness in 2015.  These statistics demonstrate the need for and importance of this conversation.

In 2017 Cincinnati had the 10th highest eviction rate in the country, driven by escalating rents and poverty

"Been evicted? You have a lot of company: Study finds Cincinnati area has high eviction rate, driven by escalating rents and poverty", Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 26, 2017

The roundtable, spearheaded by College of Law Dean Verna Williams, is in keeping with the law school’s commitment to serve the community, as seen through initiatives such as the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, the Ohio Innocence Project and the Domestic Violence/Civil Protection Order Clinic.

 “We’re bringing together a combination of experts—people from the community, development corporations, corporate officials, private attorneys, and local and national leaders to work on this issue,” said Williams.

Experts include:

  • Kathy Schwab, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Mike Eriksen, Associate Professor, Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati
  • Bobby Maly, Chief Operating Officer, Model Group
  • Bruce Eichner, Founder and Chairman, Continuum Company
  • Kevin Flynn, Of Counsel, Griffin Fletcher & Herndon LLP
  • Tia Gaynor, Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati

The morning discussion will be followed by Q&A and a working lunch, during which the participants will identify strategies for moving forward.

 “Cincinnati is a place of great innovation. It is only fitting that we should lead the country in showing how urban revitalization benefits all communities,” said Williams. “UC is best situated to do this – with the experts and expertise of teams at the Colleges of Business, DAAP, Arts and Sciences, the 1819 Innovation Hub, and, of course, the College of Law.”