Avondale development to house the homeless & disabled

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - A development to help house homeless and the disabled is coming to Avondale.

It's called the Commons at Alaska, and will sit on Alaska Avenue in Avondale. It will have 99 units that are designed to provide permanent, supportive multi-family housing.

There is now some debate over the facility.

An issue over building the facility came up at city hall on Monday during a Budget and Finance Committee meeting. The project was actually approved months ago, but now, it's been put on hold by committee members for two weeks. During that time, a mediator will come in and try to bring all sides together and find a resolution.

"We know that the answer to homelessness is housing. We believe that every human being deserves a right to have housing, and that housing is the foundation to the rest of our lives," said Josh Spring of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.

Spring works with the homeless on a daily basis. His group has supported the project from the start.

But, in the Avondale neighborhood, not everyone agrees. Some think it could attract the wrong kind of people to their streets.

"I don't think it's a good idea because there will be criminals in the area and there will just be a lot more going on," said Keon Stearns, who lives in Avondale.

The thought of having nearly 100 low-income housing units is something some Avondale residents say is a welcomed addition to their neighborhood.

"It will help a lot of homeless people, especially the ones that have the children. Those are the main ones.  It's a good idea," said Brenda Powell, an Avondale resident.

At the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition they say they hear one thing from people who walk through their doors.

"I just want a home that I can be proud of. That's always the answer. Always the answer. So, we know, that folks that are desperately in need this, and want this," Spring told FOX19.

The city will pay $5,000 for the mediator. The project was given the green light a few months ago.

The one bedroom, one bathroom apartments incorporate affordable housing, and provide support services to its residents through a partnership with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.

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