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Cornerstone's mission is to expand economic opportunity for low-income households through Renter Equity, an innovative housing model that links participatory management with a wealth building tool for residents.
Cornerstone is a nonprofit community development corporation located in the the Over-the-Rhine neighbordhood of Cincinnati. We develop and manage affordable housing communities in which residents participate in management and maintenance and build credits in a financial fund. Each household earns credits as they fulfill agreements to pay rent on time, attend monthly resident meetings and perform routine work assignments. Their credits become vested and can be withdrawn as a cash payment after 5 years. The Renter Equity℠ model was introduced in 2002 as a pilot in a 22 unit, multifamily housing rehabilitation project. Over the past 10 years, the 35 past and present residents of this development have built over $93,000 in financial assets, the property is safe, clean and beautiful and crime is significantly reduced around it. Families have used Renter Equity℠ to remain stable despite job losses, illness, or retirement, pay off debts and medical bills, repair or buy a car, pay for school, relocate, or purchase a house. Cornerstone is now managing 59 units with Renter Equity in 3 communities and is working to expand the Renter Equity system through partnerships with other nonprofit groups.
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