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Assistance programs for Hamilton County homeowners: relief for mortgages, utilities, taxes, and repairs


Mortgage, utilities, and property tax relief

Grants, abatements and tax credits for repairs

Furniture and household items for those in need


The federal government, the State of Ohio, Hamilton County, and the City of Cincinnati provide financial and public assistance. They offer relief payments, grants, abatements and tax credits to ease the burden of homeownership. These housing programs are designed to help homeowners maintain safe, energy-efficient homes and reduce foreclosures and unsafe living conditions.


This article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information before acting.


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Mortgage, Utility, and Property Tax Relief and Assistance for Hamilton County Homeowners


Mortgage Relief and Assistance


Save the Dream Ohio Mortgage, Property Tax, and Utility Assistance

Assists Ohio homeowners with paying past-due property tax, water, sewer, energy utility bills, and past-due and future mortgage payments.
Eligibility: Primary residence in Ohio, experienced financial hardship or loss of income related to the pandemic, and income at or below the annual eligibility threshold for the household size.

Number of People in Household12345
Max Income$103,350$118,200$132,900$147,600$159,450


Hamilton County Mortgage, Property Tax, and Utility Relief Program

Assists Hamilton County homeowners with up to six months of past due mortgage, property tax, and utility bill payments.
Eligibility: Must be the homeowner’s primary residence and have a household income under 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Number of People in Household12345
300% FPL (2022)

Chart Source


Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Low- and moderate-income homeowners who face foreclosure due to job loss, illness, death of primary wage earner, or other circumstances beyond their control can get help to bring their loan current if they have re-established an income stream to continue future mortgage payments. One-time assistance of up to $2,500 is available.
Eligibility: Low- and moderate-income homeowners who face foreclosure due to job loss, illness, death of primary wage earner, or other circumstances beyond their control.


Working in Neighborhoods Homeowner Preservation Initiative

The City of Cincinnati has contracted with Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) to help residents in danger of losing their homes. WIN also has agreements with Smart Money, the Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, and the Better Housing League to provide these services.
Eligibility: Residents in danger of losing their homes.


Utility Assistance for Homeowners


Duke Energy Bill Credit Program

Low-income older adults can receive a $500 credit toward their Duke Energy bill.
Eligibility: 60 years or older; household income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level; receive natural gas service from Duke Energy Ohio and have an account registered in their name.

Number of People in Household12345
250% FPL (2022)

Chart Source


Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program

Offers households up to a $30 monthly credit to help pay for internet service, a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50) as well as a low-cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP.
Eligibility: Income is 200 percent or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines; you or your dependent participate in government assistance programs, including SNAP, Medicaid, and WIC; you already receive a Lifeline benefit

Number of People in Household12345
200% FPL (2022)

Chart Source


Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Non-crisis one-time benefit directly to home heating or fuel bills.
Eligibility: Maximum allowable income and 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level

Number of People in Household12345
175% FPL (2022)$23,783$32,043$40,303$48,563$56,823

Chart Source



Related Article: Cincinnati job assistance and workforce development programs



Winter Crisis Program

A one-time benefit during winter months of up to $175 to help reconnect utility services after being shut off. Funding is also available for households with bulk fuel usage.
Eligibility: Must be a resident of Hamilton County and below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Number of People in Household12345
175% FPL (2022)$23,783$32,043$40,303$48,563$56,823

Chart Source


Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP)

Community Action Agency is helping eligible Ohioans manage their energy bill year-round. There is a minimum monthly payment of $10.
Eligibility: Hamilton county residents with a household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines

Number of People in Household12345
175% FPL (2022)$23,783$32,043$40,303$48,563$56,823

Chart Source


Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati Customer Assistance Program

Eligible low-income senior citizens can receive a 25 percent discount on their monthly sewer bill (including the minimum base and commodity charges).
Eligibility: 65 years or older; own and live in the residence for which they are paying the MSD sewer bill; have a Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of no more than $34,600.


Residential Property Tax Assistance


Homestead Property Tax Relief

Allows low-income senior citizens and permanently disabled Ohioans to reduce their property bills and give tax credits, shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. It is a credit that allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes.
Eligibility: Ohio resident homeowners who are not currently receiving homestead or do not qualify for 2013, qualify under the means test and are at least 65 years old or turn 65 in the year for which they apply, or are permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year, is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous homestead exemption at the time of death, and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.


City of Cincinnati Residential Tax Abatement for New and Renovated Homes

Allows owners to pay taxes on the pre-improvement value of their property for 10-15 years. Property tax abatement is available for any increased valuation resulting from property improvements for new construction and renovation. See the applications for value limits.
Eligibility: Property in the City of Cincinnati and a $250 application fee to qualify


Phone Assistance


Lifeline Free Phone Service Program

Offers a free phone, 10GB data, unlimited talk and text, and free international calling with no contract or hidden fees.
Eligibility: Receives other government assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, etc., or a household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty level.

Number of People in Household12345
135% FPL (2022)

Chart Source


Home Repairs, Code Compliance, and Renovations for Hamilton County Homeowners


City of Cincinnati Compliance Assistance Repairs for the Elderly (CARE) Program

513-569-1840 ext.1466
Grants to low-income, elderly, or disabled homeowner-occupants to correct City of Cincinnati code violations issued under the Neighborhood Enhancement Program’s (NEP) “house to house” exterior property condition inspection.
Eligibility: The homeowner must be 60 years or older or disabled and meet income guidelines (50 percent of Area Median Income: AMI); the home must be within the boundaries of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program.

Number of People in Household12345
50% of AMI (2022)$33,450$38,200$43,000$47,750$51,600

Chart Source


City of Cincinnati Housing Repair Services Program (HRS)

Home repairs and accessibility modifications to low-income Cincinnati homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, including broken water lines, heat, gas fumes, etc. Emergency repairs: up to $2,500; Immediate repairs: up to $5,000; Critical repairs: up to $10,000.
Eligibility: Income must be at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); individual homeowner occupies the property, at most three dwelling units per building.

Number of People in Household12345
50% of AMI (2022)$33,450$38,200$43,000$47,750$51,600

Chart Source



Matching Grants for Residential Building Owners

[email protected]
The City of Cincinnati offers grants for owners of multi-family buildings (2 or more units). The intent is to incentivize and double the impact of electric energy efficiency upgrades. Matching grants are available for up to $5,000 per building per cycle.
Eligibility: Fifty percent or more of building tenants must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and be responsible for their electricity payments. Building Owners must be able to pay upfront and receive the 1:1 match post-project completion.


Greater Cincinnati Water Works Lead Service Line Replacement

Use the interactive Lead Map to determine if your property has a lead service line. Request a leadline replacement if the Lead Map indicates a lead service line.



Related Article: Are you a renter looking for assistance? Check out rent and utility assistance. 



City of Cincinnati Lead Paint Hazard Control Grant Program

Helps control lead paint, dust, and soil hazards in residential properties built before 1978.
Eligibility: Single-family or multi-family; Owner occupied or rental


People Working Cooperatively Home Repair

PWC provides low-cost critical home repairs, including roof, plumbing systems, furnaces, etc. These repairs are accomplished by trained and skilled tradespeople. PWC also caters to modifications for accessibility and energy-related conservation services.
Eligibility: Low-income residents of Hamilton County


Home Improvement Program (HIP) Low-Interest Loan

Allows homeowners to borrow money to repair or remodel their homes at interest rates 3 percent below market rate and a five-year term. Loans are capped at $50,000 and may be used for bathrooms, kitchen remodeling, plumbing, room additions, etc.
Eligibility: Residents of Hamilton County who meet the bank’s credit requirements
To Apply: Contact North Side Bank at 513-542-7800 (ask for Jeremy, Tiffany, or Jaclyn). View the application.


Home Equity Loans

You might be able to use the equity in your home to pay for home improvements or renovations. Home equity loans are secured, meaning your home is collateral. Secured loans typically have lower interest rates and better terms, but you risk losing your home if you default.
Eligibility: Residents of Hamilton County who meet the bank’s credit requirements
See the current Home Equity Loan Rates.




New Life Furniture Assistance

11335 Reed Hartman Highway, #134, 45241 (Sharon Woods)
This restoration provides discounted and free furniture and household goods. Low-income families can request up to 15 pieces of furniture and any necessary housewares.
Eligibility: Receive a referral from a Hamilton County social service



Related Article: Food assistance pantries and soup kitchens in Cincinnati




Additional Resources


Finding the best refinance rates might provide more financial flexibility and help you avoid paying hundreds of dollars in interest. A refinance can help homeowners repay their mortgage faster, avoid PMI, and access home equity and other benefits. Check out the current rates and start saving today!


Did we miss any programs and resources for Hamilton County homeowners? Contact us at The Voice of Black Cincinnati to let us know.



Written by: Madison King


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


Help for Hamilton County Homeowners Image provided by Adobe Stock

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