Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Housing project problems heard

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn said Tuesday he will call for a halt of city matching funds used to rehab Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority projects if safety conditions are not corrected in other CMHA buildings.

        Mr. Winburn made the statement during a hearing in council chambers in which seniors from four Avondale CMHA buildings complained about security, crime, social service, poor management and mixed living.

        After introducing a motion in the Neighborhood & Small Business Development Committee offering suggestions, Mr. Winburn said he will wait one week to let the city manager work out a solution with CMHA.

        “If nothing is done, I am going to ask other council members to join me in halting the funds,” he said. “I will personally go to Washington to ask HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to quit funding the project.”

        Mr. Winburn said the city is providing $15 million to demolish and rebuild Laurel Homes and Lincoln Court. He said HUD has provided $66 million.

        The seniors who complained Tuesday live in Beechwood, Redding, the President and Maple Towers, all CMHA buildings in Avondale.

        About 70 seniors came to City Hall by bus, some in wheelchairs. One of the main concerns was safety, said Mildred McHenry, 74, who lives in Beechwood.

        “You would think our building was a college campus with all the people coming through,” she said. “Why can't we have 24-hour security to prevent just anybody from walking in?”


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