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Ohio Housing Finance Agency Awards Tax Credits to Prevent Infant Mortality

photo of Bernadette Kerrigan
First Year Cleveland's Bernadette Kerrigan says residents at the three affordable housing developments in Cuyahoga County will benefit greatly from services such as pregnancy education and classes on breastfeeding.

The agency that helps finance low- and moderate-income housing in Ohio is giving developers incentives to reduce infant mortality.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has awarded close to $8 million in tax credits to 10 developments because they’ve partnered with an infant-mortality prevention organization. A third of the credits went to three developments in Cuyahoga County that will work with First Year Cleveland.

Executive Director Bernadette Kerrigan says the developments in East Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Ohio City will benefit from bringing services directly to the people.

“We can make a difference if we do safe sleep, if we access pre-natal care early, if we do wraparound programs and help them with quality and safe housing, employment [and] education.”

Developers secured funding for First Year Cleveland to get $150,000 over the next five years to provide programs and services in and around the new housing developments. Kerrigan says they’ll be working with neighborhood leaders and developers to find the best ways to deliver the services, be it in a common area at the new housing developments or at a local library.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.