UH receives CRA designation from state
University Heights has been granted a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) designation by the Ohio Department of Development. “This designation will provide the city of University Heights another tool to promote economic development,” Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan said. “It will encourage reinvestment in current housing stock, and promote new construction in the city.”
All of University Heights has been designated as a CRA, except for University Square, as the University Square parcels will be addressed separately for redevelopment.
“If a homeowner wants to expand and improve their home, they’ll receive a tax abatement on the increased value of their home,” Brennan explained. “Business owners will be offered the same incentive.”
The CRA is a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing, or construct new, buildings. This program permits municipalities or counties to designate areas as a CRA where investment has been discouraged, to encourage revitalization of the existing housing stock and the development of new structures.
Details on how to apply for the program will be announced soon.
Brennan said the CRA designation will help increase median housing value in University Heights and slow population loss. “Plus, at the end of the day, this is a tax decrease for homeowners who invest in their property,” Brennan said.
More than 80 percent of University Heights homes were built before 1960. “The need for enhanced maintenance is apparent,” Brennan said. “While the vast majority of houses are in good condition and well maintained, there are houses that show signs of deferred maintenance and declining condition.”
Mayor Brennan said credit for the CRA designation belongs to Councilwoman Michele Weiss and Community Development Coordinator Patrick Grogan-Myers. “Michele wrote the legislation, and Patrick took care of the proposal to the state,” Brennan explained. “Without their strong work, this CRA doesn’t happen for University Heights. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Mike Cook is the communications and civic engagement coordinator for University Heights.