Lincoln Heights Gets $1 Million Hamilton County Grant to Fund Revitalization Projects

The grant will fund projects like restoring Memorial Park and tearing down a long-vacant school.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Lincoln Heights mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey says new grant funding will help the village move closer to becoming a city. - Photo: instagram.com/hamiltoncountyohio
Photo: instagram.com/hamiltoncountyohio
Lincoln Heights mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey says new grant funding will help the village move closer to becoming a city.


Hamilton County has awarded Lincoln Heights $1 million for community development projects, the county announced on Nov. 29. The Community Impact Grant will be used for upgrades to Memorial Field, road repair and to demolish a long-vacant high school, according to the county.

“These are times of rebirth and renewal in this community,” Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County commissioner, said during a press briefing.

Lincoln Heights historically has been left behind

Lincoln Heights, which is positioned just north of Reading, is a small village with big historical significance for the Black community. Lincoln Heights incorporated in 1946, becoming one of the country's first African-American self-governed communities. Ever since, residents and leaders of the acre-wide village have fought for funding to improve infrastructure.

Hamilton County has a history of systematically dismantling the land ownership of Lincoln Heights,  shrinking the village down to roughly 10% of its original size over the years. The loss of tax revenue has stifled projects and forced the community to outsource services like police and fire.

click to enlarge Lincoln Heights is one of the country's first African-American self-governed communities. A new grant will help fund projects like road repairs and tearing down a long-unused school. - Photo: instagram.com/hamiltoncountyohio
Photo: instagram.com/hamiltoncountyohio
Lincoln Heights is one of the country's first African-American self-governed communities. A new grant will help fund projects like road repairs and tearing down a long-unused school.

Hamilton County Commission vice president Alicia Reece said Lincoln Heights has suffered from the unfair treatment from the county.

"This board of county commissioners, we've had communities for too long, municipalities, that have been left behind, haven't been heard, have been disinvested in, that's why we have the [poor] conditions of roads [...]  a Memorial Park that needs re-tooled," Reese said. "No longer will we have winners and losers in Hamilton County. We're going to have one Hamilton County."

Driehaus said the local grant will beget more funds from more agencies for these projects.

"There is local funding, there is state funding," Driehaus said. "Lincoln Heights is leveraging county money to bring in $4.4 million into this community to take down the school, redo their field, redo the roads."

The Hamilton County Community Impact Grant is only open to eight limited-capacity communities, or communities with limited staff for community projects.

Lincoln Heights mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey said the grant funding will help the village one day become a city, giving residents a chance to sustain their own needs going forward.

“We’re so thankful and appreciative, but we’re still spinning our wheels to make the life of our residents a fruitful one,” Kinsey-Mumphrey said. “Our community is one that is proud. Some have left, some have returned, but our goal is to one day make the village of Lincoln Heights become a city, and to do that we need our partners.”


Follow CityBeat's staff news writer Madeline Fening on Twitter and Instagram.

Coming soon: CityBeat Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting Cincinnati stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Scroll to read more Cincinnati News articles

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.