Increasing Access to Quality Education in Cincinnati, Ohio
At Praxia Partners, we know that opportunity housing is one key to expanding access to high-performing school districts. Every child deserves access to a quality education, but too often it’s her ZIP code that determines her educational destiny. This was the case in suburban Cincinnati, where the growing, wealthy, well-educated, and largely white West Chester Township boasted an excellent public school system– but offered little opportunity for moderate or lower-income families to access it. Praxia Partners’ Accord Management and Community Building Partners set out to change that by developing moderate and lower-income housing in the school district.
Research shows that when children from moderate and lower-income families are able to access good schools, they can excel, and we believe that opportunity housing is a powerful tool for increasing access and inclusion. Opportunity housing is created when affordable homes are developed in high-growth areas with jobs, low crime, and good school districts. That’s why we built Wyndtree, comprised of nearly 300 housing units. To overcome exclusionary zoning, we focused on creating a mixed-income community. To achieve this, we worked with an interdisciplinary team of experts on building trades, law, social work, finance, architecture, and engineering. Our work was also guided by insights from nonprofit county poverty organizations. Today, Wyndtree offers 100 three-bedroom units and 196 two-bedroom units situated on forty acres in the heart of the Lakota school district. Over 500 school-aged children call Wyndtree home, and almost all are enrolled in Lakota public schools.