Category Archives: NEST in the News!

Ribbon Cutting for NEST’s First Kinda Tiny House a Great Success!

By   –  Staff reporter and columnist, Cincinnati Business Courier

The first “kinda tiny” house in Northside has been completed as a part of a community development group’s program to rehabilitate small, vacant buildings in the neighborhood.

Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation and the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development funded the rehabilitation of 4222 Fergus St., the first of five homes in the redeveloping neighborhood that are 1,200 square feet or less.

NEST’s program aims to provide affordable, disabled-accessible housing for low- to moderate-income families, first-time homebuyers, homeowners who want to age in place and people with special needs.

The city provided $65,000 in funding for the home, which was listed at $159,000. A sale is pending. The city will provide a total of $441,000 for $1.1 million in construction on Northside homes on Fergus and Mad Anthony streets as a part of its Notice of Funding Available (NOFA) program.

NOFA provides money for infrastructure projects like sewer, sidewalk and water to new housing developments, proposals that serve a special needs population and home ownership, said Monica Hardman, deputy director for the department.

“One of the main goals … is to provide an incentive or spark for transformative development,” Hardman said.

North Side Bank & Trust provided a construction loan for the 926-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, while 8K Construction Company LLC served as general contractor.

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City Council Members, Development Staff, NEST Board and Staff and Project Funders celebrate the completion of NEST's first visitable Kinda Tiny House.

City Council Members, Development Staff, NEST Board and Staff and Project Funders celebrate the completion of NEST’s first visitable Kinda Tiny House.


Northside organization working to provide more single-family housing

Soapbox Cincinnati, April 4, 2015 – Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation recently changed its name to Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation to more accurately reflect the organization’s goal to develop single-family homes in the neighborhood. To date, CNCURC/NEST has created 17 single-family houses, including new ones at 4118 Lakeman St. and 1726 Hanfield St.

“Research indicates that homeowners have greater investment in their property and are more likely to maintain and stay in their homes,” says Stefanie Sunderland, executive director of CNCURC/NEST. “Homeowners will potentially become more involved in the community and support the local economy by patronizing local businesses.”

A healthy neighborhood should provide housing for all, including rental units, so CNCURC/NEST focuses on single-family houses that were built by members of the community but time, disinvestment and abandonment have left them in disrepair. Many of the houses CNCURC/NEST has reclaimed were slated for demolition.

CNCURC/NEST acquired the house at 4118 Lakeman, which was built in 1873, from Bill Dorward and his sister, Deborah. Meanwhile, 1726 Hanfield, which was built in 1921, is the first building CNCURC/NEST has acquired through the Port of Greater Cincinnati.

Construction began on both houses last spring and will be completed in the next few weeks. The house on Hanfield has already been sold, and the one on Lakeman is still for sale.

Both houses were redeveloped creatively and for use of space, with an emphasis on preservation and restoration. CNCURC/NEST also focuses on duplicating historic architecture and features as well as energy efficiency.

The 1,243-square-foot house on Lakeman now has a new front porch, woodwork, windows and doors as well as matching gables on the second-story addition. The 1,071-square-foot Hanfield house has a visitable first floor and was designed to be an accessible unit.

Over the next month or so, CNCURC/NEST will break ground on two new-construction houses at 4135-37 Witler St. and 1720-22 Hanfield as part of the Blockwatch 45223 Homeownership Project. Three sources of funding are required to complete the project, including NSP funding through the City of Cincinnati, a revolving construction loan from the Cincinnati Development Fundand general funds from CNCURC/NEST.

Sunderland says they’re also waiting to hear if their NOFA application for gap financing for the development of five single-family houses for the Fergus Street Homeownership Project has been approved. This project includes the rehab of four single-family houses, three of which are currently owned by and land-banked with the Port Authority, as well as one new construction on a lot owned by CNCURC/NEST.

Source: Northside organization working to provide more single-family housing

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Over a period of 15 years, the “little brown house” as Stefanie Sunderland calls it, “bounced back and forth between ownership, occupancy, vacancy, and three foreclosures. At one point the weeds, shrubbery and trees were so overgrown it was difficult to notice a house was even there.”  Sunderland, Executive Director for NEST – Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (formerly CNCURC) was describing the house at 1726 Hanfield St. in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Northside. The group was diligent in reporting complaints on the site, year after year. Fortunately, their persistence was fruitful.

In 2013, as the Hanfield property went through the County’s tax foreclosure sale, the Hamilton County Landbank successfully petitioned for it at the request of NEST/ CNCURC, rather than have it forfeited to the State. “As one of our established community partners, NEST/ CNCURC then acquired it from the Landbank in August 2013 and they have been hard at work rehabbing the property ever since,” said Billy Weber, associate counsel for the Port Authority.

When acquired through the Landbank, it had been stripped of copper, and suffered from years of neglect, leaks ruining the frame, the yard a jungle of weeds.

Major redevelopment work began in early 2015 which included relocating a bathroom and kitchen, a new multi-room addition to the back, while maintaining some characteristics of the 94-year old home per historic guidelines. And just as renovation was underway, the home went under contract for sale in January with a closing date set for mid-May.

NEST/ CNCURC recently hosted an open house to show the progress on 1726 Hanfield, and another nearby rehabbed home at 4118 Lakeman. Kate Bridgman, a realtor with Comey & Shepherd and a NEST/CNCURC Board member, noted that these efforts are having a positive impact on the market. “The more homes that NEST/ CNCURC can work to acquire, rehabilitate and make affordable to owner-occupants, the better it is for the neighborhood, and for current owners in Northside.”

Read more about the work of NEST/CNCURC at