HAND reduces number of affordable housing units in Cumberland Crossing because of rising construction costs 


Rising construction costs have led to some changes in the plans for Cumberland Cottages, an 11-dwelling rental community planned for the southwest corner of 141st Street and Cumberland Road to be owned and managed by Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development.

HAND would prefer to offer all units as affordable housing, meaning residents can earn no more than 60 percent of the area median income and that rents are restricted to a maximum rate set by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. But according to Andrea Davis, HAND executive director, increasing construction costs have reduced the number of units it can offer as affordable to six.

“I understand why that is, but nevertheless, it’s disappointing to me, as someone who’s trying to address the (affordability) problem,” Davis said.

Still, Davis is confident the units rented at market rates could go to those who may make just enough income to disqualify them for affordable housing. She said HAND is researching grants and working with other nonprofits to consider partnerships that could help cover financial gaps for families in that situation.

“We’re trying to be creative on ways to still get people who need affordable housing into those market rate units,” Davis said.

Rising costs also led HAND to decide to build eight of the units in four duplexes. Initially, all dwellings were planned to be detached. Another change is the addition of a garage for each dwelling instead of a carport, a change made at the request of the city.

Hamilton County Commissioners on Jan. 24 voted to approve a $200,000 reimbursement in community development block grants to HAND, which Davis said will help cover most of the cost of land for Cumberland Cottages. Davis said HAND has more than $3 million budgeted to construct the community, which will be covered through a combination of state funding and a private loan.

Learn more at handincorporated.org