Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Newport gets $28M for homes

Public complex to be demolished

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Years of effort to revitalize the city's housing stock finally produced results in a big way Monday. Newport officials were told the city had been awarded a $28.4 million federal Hope VI housing grant.

        “I think it will have a tremendous impact in this city,” said veteran City Commissioner Jan Knepshield. “The influx of new housing will be a like a shot in the arm for the whole city, and at the same time help eliminate some of the problem homes and replace them with new housing.”

        The grant will result in 313 new and rehabilitated housing units throughout the city, but the most obvious result for most observers will be demolition of the 202 units that comprise the Newport Housing Authority complex.

        Newport Economic Development Director Pat Wingo said everyone at city hall was excited about the news, announced by U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, a Richwood Democrat, who, with Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Southgate and Gov. Paul Patton, urged the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make the grant.

        “For a little town like Newport (pop. 18,000) to receive this kind of federal assistance is so wonderful, almost unheard of,” Ms. Wingo said. “This has been a focus of city officials for many years. It's the first step in a major way. ... The impact on the community will be immense.”

        The housing units to replace those lost at the housing authority project will be mixed-income developments, including 150 public housing units, 67 affordable units, and 96 market rate units, 69 of which will be for home ownership.

        The new mixed-income developments probably won't be on the same site, but in another location.

        The area now occupied by the housing project, located between the flood wall and 4th Street, from Central Avenue to the 4th Street Bridge, will be opened up for development. There have been rumors of a possible condominium complex or mixed residential and office complex there.


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