Skip to comments.Public Housing Likely for Suburbs of Green Township Ohio
Posted on 04/02/2011 9:49:18 AM PDT by Howard Morrison
Green Township is being singled out because federal investigators believe the housing authority blocked new public housing there for at least the past two years.
More public housing for the poor is likely headed to Green Township and some other communities as part of a deal to resolve a discrimination complaint against Cincinnati's housing authority.
"It's on the table. We are talking about it," said Shantae Goodloe, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "And if it's being discussed, it's more than likely it will happen."
A move to expand public housing in Green Township would be a significant departure from recent policies at the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority.
Federal investigators say Arnold Barnett, the housing authority's former board chairman, created a plan to keep public housing out of Green Township and ordered the staff not to approve additional units there. The investigators declared that policy discriminatory because 90 percent of the housing authority's tenants are African-American.
Barnett, who lives in the township, has complained for years that too much federally-subsidized housing was located in West Side communities like his own.
A HUD investigation, however, found that while several West Side communities do have large numbers of subsidized housing units, Green Township is far below the county average.
The 27 public housing units in Green Township represent 0.12 percent of all housing units in the township. Public housing accounts for 1.8 percent of all housing in Hamilton County.
"It's important to provide housing opportunities where people want to live," said Robert Newman, a Cincinnati attorney who filed the discrimination complaint against Barnett and the housing authority almost two years ago. "Public housing shouldn't be confined to reservations in the community."
Green Township officials say they expect any deal between HUD and the local housing authority to result in more public housing units, but they don't know how many.
"I do understand there might be some units that come to the township," said Township Trustee Tracy Winkler. "It's my job to ensure it's as few as possible."
The units being discussed in the negotiations are government-owned buildings, rather than privately-owned rental property where tenants use government subsidies, or vouchers, to pay the rent. Vouchers now are the most common way poor people receive housing assistance, but thousands still live in government-owned properties.
Both methods of providing assistance are controversial because some believe they are too concentrated in certain neighborhoods and lead to lower property values and increased crime.
Pete Witte, a housing authority board member, said adding more government-owned housing could be as expensive as it is controversial, especially if it means renovating existing properties or building new ones.
"CMHA doesn't have the money to do a major expansion to communities with few low-income properties," Witte said. "I don't see how CMHA could accomplish it without getting additional funds."
Costs would be higher because property values tend to be higher in Green Township and other communities that currently have few public housing units. Witte said that's why public housing is more common in poorer communities with more affordable real estate.
Federal investigators did not mention other communities by name in the February report, but some local officials expect Green Township won't be the only community getting more public housing.
Newman, along with fair housing advocates in Cincinnati, sent HUD a letter last month urging the agency to seek more public housing in Green Township, Hyde Park, Symmes Township and Hamilton County's northeast suburbs.
Hyde Park, one of the county's wealthiest neighborhoods, currently has 27 public housing units, while Symmes Township has none. That's far less than West Price Hill's 208, Avondale's 591 or Walnut Hills' 988. Winton Hills has the most with 1,255.
A cooperation agreement between Hamilton County and the housing authority is supposed to help balance the distribution of public housing in the county by setting targets for each community.
That agreement has not been revised for five years and HUD could make a new agreement part of the discrimination settlement with the housing authority. If it does, new and possibly higher targets could be set for several communities.
"It's absolutely necessary," Newman said. "The housing authority has got to dig itself out of it's segregated past."
We have more public housing projects than we know what to do with. Let the poor live there.
F them. They already tried once to put section 8 in Anderson township where I live. If they finally succeed I am heading further out to Clermont County.
The city of Cincinnati is now a wasteland. I don't go down there for anything.
I make sure I carry concealed even when I am just driving through.
Moved out of greentownship 2 years ago...saw it coming. I just hope they can keep this @ bay.
the poverty pimp business of the
I’m on SSD right now and I get $770.00 a month. Now, I am paying for a nice room at a room/board and I pay a total of $385.00, which includes bathroom, toiletries, dishes, bowls, pots, pans, heat, central air, and I have more than enough left over for other things I need to buy for my own personal use. Why shouldn’t they do the same? I don’t need a bigger place since I am after all not interested in a bigger one. I have no issues with it myself. I don’t need or want Section eight, since there’s no need for it. Thye are getting more than enough via welfare and plenty in food stamps.
Poeple pay good money and work hard to live there, riffraff should either pay or not live there.
There’s an idea, lets make every city a ghetto
Public housing is only for a limited segment of the public. If you are working and productive, don’t expect to get in.
Maid’s and gardener’s quarters?
“Public housing likely for suburbs”