CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As some West End residents call for a zoning change, two Cincinnati City Council members are offering a solution to allow people to stay in their homes.
Ever since FC Cincinnati pegged the West End as its preferred location to build its soccer stadium there have been protests and outcries from residents not to force them out of their homes. Two weeks ago, FOX19 introduced you to 99-year-old Mary Page who lives adjacent to the construction site on Wade Street and said she didn’t want to move.
Page is bedridden and says she is physically and financially unable to leave her home. Several other West End residents say they are in a similar situation.
On Tuesday, council members PG Sittenfeld and David Mann put forth a proposal they hope will allow residents like Page to stay in the West End even if they can’t live in the building where they are now.
“We move that FC Cincinnati, fulfilling its publicly stated commitment not to displace residents of the West End, arrange to make its building at 1559 Central Avenue available to provide safe, quality, affordable housing for any current residents of 421 Wade Street located just feet away in addition to continuing to provide housing for current residents of 1559 Central Avenue," said Sittenfeld.
FC Cincinnati has said it wants to be a good neighbor from the start. Last week four players from the team went to the West End to help refurbish homes by painting, repaving sidewalks and sprucing up lawns. Welcome work for the neighborhood but it doesn’t address the main concern.
Council member David Mann says it’s the least FC Cincinnati can do after the city invested $30 million in the soccer club.
The remaining residents are facing an April 30 deadline to move out.
“A lot of concern about that," said Mann. “Seems to me the first thing that ought to be done is confirm that on April 30 people are not going to be evicted and the team is going to make every effort to work this out.”
Mann said Tuesday evening that he had not heard from the club yet about the proposal which would keep the building on Central Avenue an affordable housing unit for a minimum of three years as long as the residents keep current with the rent.