Westwood residents protest expected rehab project

A small group, but a determined one gathered outside 2329 Harrison Ave Thursday afternoon to state a protest about the planned rehab of the building.

"It's an opportunity. It's an opportunity for our neighborhood to make our neighborhood better by getting rid of this building," said organized Jim McNolte.

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority owns the building, and most of the people living there use section eight vouchers.

McNolte says that rehab doesn't make sense since CMHA has a policy of reducing concentrations of section eight housing clusters in the city.

"This is a highly concentrated section eight neighborhood right here in Westwood. And this is an opportunity to reduce that concentration by 12 units," said McNolte.

McNolte says CMHA has started moving folks out of the building in anticipation of the rehab. When we contacted CMHA to get their side of this brick and mortar fight, the group gave us a written statement.

CMHA spokesman Kelly Kramer would not go on camera, but released the following statement: "The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority has owned the apartment building at 2329 Harrison avenue for more than 40 years. This renovation project will make the apartments better suited for our residents, and enhance the value of the taxpayer owned building. And the renovated building will be a better asset to the neighborhood. CMHA has the dual responsibility for providing safe, affordable housing for those in Hamilton county who need it, and being good stewards of public funds. This renovation project is in line with both parts of our mission."

But back at the protest, a different idea.

"Sixty percent of our housing units in Westwood are apartments. We want 60 percent owner occupied," says McNolte.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.