Saturday, April 07, 2001

Neighborhoods


Renovation has tenants on move

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        Renovating old property in urban neighborhoods can create serious problems among landlords and tenants, as happened on Burnet Avenue in Avondale.

        Dan Schimberg bought the building at 2928 Burnet Avenue and started remodeling it about a month ago. Nineteen of the 30 units had tenants. Tenants on month-to-month leases received notices to get out in 30 days.

        That is all within the law, but in a poor neighborhood where it is hard for people to move, f30 days become crucial.

        Some who couldn't find housing and did not pay the March rent were given eviction notices.

        “I had never received an eviction notice in my life,” said 74-year-old Junior Daniels, whose case was taken to court before it was settled Tuesday. "I had a hard time getting around to find a place because I am on medication for breathing.”

        Barbara Payton, 55, who is unemployed, said moving on short notice caused hardship because of her economic status.

        “It is hard to pay the $320 monthly rent and look for another place,” she said. "When you move someplace else you have to pay a month's rent plus a deposit. I can't afford that much. This is the fourth time this has happened to me. I was kicked out in the West End, Mount Auburn and in Avondale before. I am told that what the landlord did was within the law, but the law needs to be changed.”

        Mr. Schimberg feels that he is contributing to the neighborhood by renovating and making suitable housing available.

        “We see where people are moving from the inner city to the suburbs and it is because there is not enough decent housing in the inner city,” Mr. Schimberg said. "I am helping to provide decent housing and I follow the law in getting people out to renovate the building.”

        He did, but sometimes common sense should prevail over the law when part of the landlord's responsibility is to become a good neighbor.

        Most urban neighborhoods have this problem of reaching a common bond among institutions, commercial interests and corporations that move in. Burnet Avenue is an example of what happens.

        Look around you Mr. Schimberg. Children's Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House and Cincinnati Zoo have become good neighbors. They did it because they had some compassion for their poor neighbors.

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        This you should see. The “Wise About Eyes” exhibit opens April 14 at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Union Terminal.

        Kelly Rickenbaugh, marketing and communication director for the museum center, said the exhibit is designed to encourage visitors to give more than a passing glance at the science behind their peepers.

        The exhibit, a joint venture between Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and Prevent Blindness Ohio, focuses on eye safety, detection and prevention of eye diseases, the importance of good vision, illusion and color.

        “We try to factor in some fun to make it attractive to kids,” Ms. Rickenbaugh said. “Visitors can shoot a basketball with one eye covered to understand depth perception and try to walk through a darkened hallway while others watch on a night vision camera.” She said the exhibit runs through June 24. Admission to the Museum of Natural History and Science includes the exhibits.

        Allen Howard's column runs on Saturdays. Call: 768-8362. Mail: The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

       



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