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Mayor Aftab Pureval & CMHA CEO Gregory Johnson

Public Private Partnership Success

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority’s private and public partnerships mean more than the preservation of precious affordable housing; the conglomerations bring community together. The Grand Re-Opening of Park Eden is authentication of that statement. Representatives from the local level to the national level were together to not only celebrate the transformation of 176 affordable housing units but to recognize the significance of CMHA’s reimagined affordable housing. City of Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval attended and said, “This kind of game changing progress doesn’t just happen on its own. Greg and the hard working people at CMHA are implementing a bold vision to ensure that residents and neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati have real access to places they can be proud of, places they can trust, that they don’t have to worry so much that they can focus on enriching life for themselves and their families.” Mr. Alex Scharfetter, District Director for U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup also joined the reopening. He shared a letter on behalf of the Congressman that stated, “Your organization has set the standard for what should be done throughout the country.”  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is more than a funder for housing authorities, HUD is a very significant partner. Mr. James Cunningham is the HUD Region 5 Administrator and he shared that there is a $30 billion backlog in capital needs across the country. The Rental Assistance Demonstration was created to give housing authorities a new tool to leverage funds with different sources to restore aging housing stock. Mr. Cunningham went on to state, “We cannot afford to lose the affordable housing we have. So this Park Eden preservation through the HUD RAD program is incredibly important.”   

Our housing advocacy partners participated in the celebration as well. Ms. Kristen Baker, Executive Director of LISC Greater Cincinnati provided, “CMHA owns over 4000 properties in our county. They are an important partner and it’s important for us to remember that every single one of those units is necessary to the success of our region.” We also received encouraging messages from Ms. Rosalind Fultz Constituent Liaison to Congressman Steve Chabot, State Representative Catherine Ingram, Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus, City of Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Wallick Construction Senior Vice President Bill Hinga, OHFA Director of Legislative Affairs Guy Ford, OCCH VP of Development Annie Ross, Lument Senior Analyst Joseph Hague, and Director of the Connected Region at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Pete Metz. We also secured a special partnership with ArtWorks for the Roots of Walnut Hills. That is the beautiful mural that was created and painted by a talented team of artists. ArtWorks’ Senior Director of Impact Sydney Fine spoke at the reopening and several of the artists attended as well.  


Transformations like what has taken place at Park Eden, Pinecrest, Sutter View and The Evanston are great for the residents, our staff, the organization and the community. We could not carry out our Mission without strong partnerships.  We have checked all the boxes with these projects. Residents were provided a beautiful place to stay, jobs were created along with opportunities for Section 3, MBE and WBE businesses. Record numbers of dollars were spent with those businesses. Park Eden’s preservation added up to approximately $35 million in our billion-dollar transformation.


Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff who worked on the renovation and Grand Re-Opening of Park Eden. And a thank you to the residents for living through the construction and for participating in the renovation plans. Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority is Re-Imagining Affordable Housing. 

Kind Regards,

Gregory D. Johnson, MS, EDEP, PHM

Chief Executive Officer

Partner Spotlight

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority and RWB Construction are two organizations that boost self-sufficiency for people in the community. A partnership was a natural fit for the Tools for the Trades Program. Tools for the Trades is a CMHA initiative that provides low-income individuals with the necessary skills to obtain employment or higher paying careers.   

RWB Construction is an interior finishes contractor that has been specializing in dry wall, ceiling, door, painting and more internal scopes of work since 2008. Owner and Founder Rodrigo Williams and Vice President of Operations Larry Bryant for RWB noticed many construction projects were happening but very few provided chances for people living in the communities impacted to work on the multi-million dollar projects. That’s when RWB created a training program to provide interested people with construction skills.

The two companies crossed paths recently during the transformation of Pinecrest and Park Eden. Out of that relationship, CMHA and RWB worked together to formulate what would take place during the Tools for the Trades Program. Mr. Bryant shared, “We were trying to figure out a way to have an immediate impact. We thought of some scopes that would get people hired immediately.” There are 12 participants in the eight-week general carpentry class that are learning about the installation of doors. The students recently went on a tour of a live job site where they received a first-hand look at employees doing the same work they are learning in the Tools for the Trades Program. In essence showing them that what they committed to learning will bring rewards.

The first Tools for the Trades class presented in partnership with RWB Construction will soon end with 12 graduates of the program.  Students acquired experience and skills they can carry with them anywhere. Mr. Bryant said, “We’re just trying to give people an opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives. If you encourage people and nurture like anything else, they will respond. We want to make sure we do everything in our power to make that happen.”

Welcome Home

176 affordable homes for families in Walnut Hills, mechanical systems and common spaces were all fully renovated with the HUD tool RAD. CMHA recently welcomed Park Eden families home with dozens of residents, legislators and stakeholders attending the celebration. Here are some highlights from the Grand Re-Opening. 

Thank you for this opportunity to recreate Park Eden to the gold standard community it is today. -- Bill Hinga Wallick Communities and Construction

The City of Cincinnati, all of us, the county, the state, the federal government we’re all pushing for affordable housing and this is a prime example.  Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney 

We are thrilled to be in partnership with you not only on projects like this but moving forward because we need to make an investment in this community and we are all standing at the ready to do that and we need to do it in partnership. – Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus

A huge thank you to CMHA for supporting and trusting ArtWorks to turn their building into a work of art for all. An investment in public art is an investment not only in people but place and that is critical for the health of our community. --Sydney Fine, ArtWorks Senior Director of Impact

We are certain that as this worthy institution maintains its unwavering dedication to quality, it will continue to grow and prosper and will follow in the tradition of excellence that has long been its hallmark. -- The State of Ohio House of Representatives Commendation sponsored by Representative Brigid Kelly, House District 31 and Representative Catherine D. Ingram House District 32. 

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