Over the last year, Working In Neighborhoods (WIN), residents and community council leaders from neighborhoods along the Beekman Street Corridor, city officials, banks, and the Port have been working hard. The group, known as the Beekman Corridor Coalition Housing Steering Committee, is partnering with Urban Fast Forward consultants on developing a community-focused housing plan to stabilize and preserve existing housing stock and identify new housing opportunities.

For decades, corridor residents have experienced the same pattern of decline that affects so many urban, majority African-American, working-class neighborhoods. Nearly 70% of owner-occupied homes in the corridor were built prior to 1940, and the average home value is just over one-third of Hamilton County’s median level. As a result, 23.7% of homes in the corridor are vacant, making attracting investment and new homeowners a challenge.

WIN’s Executive Director, S. Barbara Busch, said, “Many corridor residents lost their homes during the last recession, and a significant number of those homes remain empty. If we want to increase African American homeownership, we need to keep the homeowners we have.” This plan reflects the community’s vision for meeting the needs of existing residents, supporting legacy homeowners so that seniors can age in place, identifying new development sites, and attracting new investment.

Soon, students from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program will be collecting additional information in the corridor. These details will provide the coalition with data on what homeowners need and where it is most needed.

By the end of 2023, the coalition’s goal is to have a set direction and to be moving forward. You can follow along with their progress on this community-focused housing plan on Facebook or reach out to Rigel Behrens with any questions by calling 513-541-4109 ext. 103 or emailing rbehrens@wincincy.org.