Brick by Brick: Cincinnati works to increase affordable housing

UC real estate professor says not enough homes have been built to keep up with demand

Cities across the United States are looking to emulate Cincinnati's approach to provide affordable housing, the podcast Brick by Brick from CET reported.

Gary Painter headshot

Gary Painter

Today's housing market is the least affordable on record with housing prices in Hamilton and Montgomery counties in Ohio up 7% and 8% in the past year, respectively.

“When we think about affordability, we’re typically just thinking about how much of your income is going toward your rent,” said Gary Painter, PhD, BEARE Professor of Real Estate and academic director of Lindner’s real estate program. “And so if more and more of your income is going to rent, then we say that is a reduction in affordability. Nationally we’ve looked at thresholds like paying more than 30% of your income as rent as you being rent-burdened; you’re paying too much of your income in rent, therefore leaving you a burden to pay for everything else.”

Even for people who can afford to purchase a home, low inventory is preventing many from buying. Listings dropped 16% from 2022 to 2023.

“We haven’t built enough housing,” Painter said. “Simple supply and demand. If you don’t build enough supply, demand increases, supply doesn’t increase, then the rent’s going to go up much faster than people’s ability to pay the rent.”

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority is working to increase the amount of affordable housing by purchasing almost 200 neglected rental properties from an out-of-town real estate company to sell as affordable housing.

See more from Brick by Brick.

Featured image at top: A house. Photo/Ian MacDonald via Unsplash

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Lindner real estate professor weighs in on affordable housing

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A recent opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times examined differing viewpoints and data around affordable housing in the publication’s namesake city. The author tapped Gary Painter, PhD, professor of real estate, and an expert and longtime researcher in social innovation, housing, urban economics and education policy, to offer insight.