Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tax exemption considered for Friars' Court

Cincinnati City Council is considering an eight-year, 75 percent Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax exemption agreement with the developer of Friars' Court, the second phase of St. Anthony Village in Over-the-Rhine.

The $1.8 million project, by Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity, includes the renovation of the buildings at 1616-1618 and 1628 Race Street and 23 Green Street into 22 affordable housing units for senior citizens.

The project has been under construction since 2007 and should be completed this summer.

The CRA exemption would reduce Cornerstone's tax liability by $296,920 over the life of the agreement. The City also contributed $1.2 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME funds to the project in late 2007.

Cornerstone hopes to use Friars' Court to expand its Renter Equity program, which allows low-income residents to build "equity credits" by paying their rent on time, participating in the residents' organization, and doing routine maintenance work. After five years of residency, the credits can be converted to a cash payment that can be used for a home, education, or investment.

Cornerstone's Renter Equity demonstration project, the 22-unit first phase of St. Anthony Village, currently has a waiting list, meaning that vacancies stay low.

Previous reading on BC:
Second St. Anthony Village phase to bring 25 units (12/21/07)