The Fairmount neighborhood of Cincinnati has seen continued disinvestment for many years, leading to a variety of concerns among community residents. Nearly half of the neighborhood's population lives below the poverty line, the long term vacancy rates are almost three times that of the county and until the past school year, the neighborhood public school had been in the category of "Academic Emergency." However, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), the Community Building Institute, and other partners will engage the community to create a plan for how CMHA's 70 acres of vacant land, where English Woods stood prior to its demolition in 2005-2006, can be properly harnessed to provide the boost of housing opportunities, amenities, and services this community needs.
The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will allow Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), the Community Building Institute (CBI) and other partners to develop a comprehensive neighborhood Transformation Plan that will be sustainable for years to come. CMHA and CBI will lead a five-stage planning process to build a stronger community by developing a shared vision for the future of the Fairmount neighborhood. Community engagement will play a pivotal role by informing the community and partners of the plan's progress and by solicitating input through one-on-one stakeholder and community meetings. The resulting Transformation Plan will address the need for quality education, resident safety, access to fresh foods and groceries, commercial development and employment.