WCPO / October 13, 2016

If it sounds unusual for a school’s community learning center to be involved in a plan to increase homeownership, that’s because it is.

Developers and government agencies typically lead initiatives like the one in Lower Price Hill.

But the Community Learning Center Institute’s work on this project is a natural extension of its 17-year history in Lower Price Hill, said Darlene Kamine, the institute’s executive director.

The work started when Kamine helped the community lobby Cincinnati Public Schools to keep Oyler School and add a high school at the building, a change that has boosted high school graduation rates significantly.

Over time, the institute has helped bring resources for the community to the school — health clinics, computer labs and even a prom. And with each successful addition, Kamine would work with the school’s leaders to ask, “What’s next?”

The last time Kamine asked that question, Oyler Principal Amy Randolph answered: “Housing.”

“Every time a house gets boarded up,” Randolph told her, “I lose a family.”

So the Oyler Community Learning Center got to work by talking to the Lower Price Hill Community Council and residents to find out what they wanted as far as housing was concerned.

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