November 23rd, 2011 By Kevin Osborne | News | Posted In: Development, Poverty, Neighborhoods, Urban Planning

Report: OTR Tops U.S. in Inequality

vine street

A new Census Bureau report reveals that from 2005 to 2009, a segment of Over-the-Rhine had the highest income inequality of more than 61,000 communities nationwide.

The segment — known as Census Tract No. 17 — is the northeast quadrant of Over-the-Rhine. The findings were featured in an article Tuesday by McClatchy Newspapers, which attributes the disparity in the tract partially to gentrification and the influx of young professionals into the predominantly low-income neighborhood.

Here's a portion of the article:

(At the census-tract level,) income inequality as measured by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey refers only to the range of household incomes in a small geographic area. The wider the gap between high and low earners, the higher the level of income inequality for that tract.

So while two-thirds of Tract 17's 321 households earn less than $10,000 a year and are mired in poverty, a push to gentrify the area has brought a wider mix of incomes to the small neighborhood just outside the downtown business district. Nearly 6 percent of residents there now earn between $25,000 and $49,999. Three percent make $100,000 to $149,999, and yet another 3 percent take in $200,000 or more.

The rare diversity of earnings in Tract 17 caused it to have the nation's most unequal neighborhood income distribution, according to the Census Bureau. And oddly enough, city leaders are striving for that kind of income integration throughout Over-the-Rhine.

The article examines the efforts of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) since 2004 to redevelop the neighborhood. It quotes Stephen Leeper, 3CDC's president and CEO, as well as representatives of St. Francis Seraph Ministries and the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless on the redevelopment's impact on existing Over-the-Rhine residents.

Statistics show that 573 of the nearly 900 apartments and houses in Tract 17 are vacant, and 60 percent of tract residents received food stamps in the last year.

The report states that the most income-mixed tracts nationwide are in neighborhoods with older housing. The majority of units in Over-the-Rhine's Tract 17 are at least 70 years old or older.

After the Over-the-Rhine tract, other areas with the most income inequality are located in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kileen, Texas; Austin, Texas; and Henderson, Texas.

11.25.2011 at 01:40 Reply

In  Washington Park before the gentrification renovation that has taken place in Over the Rhine a day not untypical in that the natives gathered in droves to receive that allotment of those items always rendered and free. Ah the land of the poor a land of plenty as concerning anything donated. All of which that just happens to be free. They line up as if pigeons or perhaps people who are suffering from that sh- t called malnutrition. The satisfied of the group proudly proclaim the act of "Feeding";  and are very certain to lead the pack  into the way of behavior unnecessary and unseemly.  

Every discussion among the group about how much they have taken and giving credence to assure themselves of the Catholic sin they call gluttony.

 It seems that everyone in the city was starving certainly more than just hungry and conversations concerning meals, items served and consumed and the menu planned or partaken is the most important of events within lifetimes. However no one invites anyone to share almost as if to perpetrated an image of this silly sort of pride as someone states boldly

"I  got Food nah nah nah nah nah nah "
You  know like we did when we were children who were not taught proper manners. Well in one sense Over the Rhine has been gentrified for the better but with the wealthy living among the poor there isn't much that is new. Cincinnati Ohio proclaims it's love of diversity. "Downtown" is now the Gateway Quarter. Things are changing being over ran by 3CDC. So now them who are rich whatever color are able to have the protection while the poor who get to stay in the housing provided by a few yet to linger slumlords are policed for the prevention of poor against rich crime. Kudos are due to those low income providers that remain committed to serving the poor in housing standards that are acceptable. ie Over the Rhine Community Housing.


11.28.2011 at 01:01

This rant could use a little clarification... it's all over the place, and makes little to no sense.


11.28.2011 at 03:25 Reply

This headline is misleading. "Inequality" is different than income diversity. The quoted article goes on to mention that the most "equal" census tracts tend to be middle class suburbs. I doubt you would have a headline stating "Liberty Township most equal in U.S." 


11.29.2011 at 12:04

I apologize, my yuppie self will move "where i belong" (suburbs?  KY? Campus?)


But my great-grandfather would like an apology for the lack of articles written when things started going south in 1915 and rents went down and less wealthy folk moved in.  No one writes about when things go south and an area becomes more gentrified.   


Apparently only those without wealth are allowed to be opportunistic.