Green Twp & CMHA debate over public housing - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Green Twp vs CMHA: The debate, options and what's next

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The debate continues over where to put 32 new public housing units in Green Township.

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) is considering two options:

Plan A - Place all units in a new multi-family housing development on a piece of land at North Bend Road and Westwood-Northern Boulevard, estimated at $6.6 million.

Plan B - Buy and rehab enough buildings throughout the township to create the 32 units required, estimated at $3 million.

What CMHA has the power to do:

CMHA has the power to build in Green Township and are required by law to build 32 public housing units. They also decide which option to choose.

What Green Township has the power to do:

The township can gather public input to come up with a resolution, as in a formal expression of opinion, stating where they stand on the issue. They can also choose whether to sell township land that CMHA may need in addition to private property.

Residents of current CMHA owned housing say the property is better kept than a similar private property across the street.

"I have to give it to the metropolitan housing authority. They do us a real good job," said Ricky Finnerson, CMHA property resident.

There were some instances of crime reported a few years back, but neighbors say that has all gone away.

"Up here folks be sleeping with their doors open," said Finnerson.

"Since we met with the township police and the patrols increased on the road, everything seems fine," said Adam Staley, a nearby property owner.

While Adam Staley who owns a house up the street feels safe in his neighborhood, he wonders if a larger development would come with larger problems. The proposed new development would include at least 32 units, but could include up to 50.

"More people congregated in a smaller spot, it might be harder to monitor the comings and goings and who's coming in and out," said Staley.

CMHA argues a consolidated new project would be less expensive long-term.

"I think the more people, the more business is being brought in that area. I think that that's the more monies that's being put in that community," said Lacretia Johnson, another CMHA property resident.

Johnson believes the bigger battle is often the battle against stereotypes and fears, whether real or unfounded.

"It's just a fact of life. There is a bias against lower income clientele, and it's just fear that you're going to bring in roughians, drug dealers, prostitutes, so on and so forth," said Staley.

"We should be treated equally and looked at as being that we want to live in a predominantly nice area, just as much as everyone else and that we deserve that. There shouldn't be any type of bias," argued Johnson.

What's next:

In addition to public hearings, Green Township residents also weighed in on the proposed housing in a recent survey by CMHA, with over 600 surveys were submitted. Click here for the results.

The Housing Authority has a progress update due at the end of the month on 'Plan A', which is the proposed new development.

All 32 units have to be leased by the end of June 2016.

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