Saturday, June 30, 2001

CAN fills out housing team




By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Community Action Now (CAN) announced Tuesday the 20 home builders, developers and housing advocates who will make up its housing and neighborhood development action team.

        The team will focus on identifying, implementing and expanding programs and policies that address fair lending practices, promote new development and increase home ownership, particularly in predominately African-American neighborhoods.

        Among those named were: Kathy Schwab, of Downtown Cincinnati Inc.; Don Troendle, of Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority; Carl Westmoreland, of the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center; Jay Jordan, of the Coalition of Neighborhoods; and Rick Williams, of Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati.

        Commission co-chairman Tom Cody said action team members bring an understanding of housing issues that have gone unaddressed and unresolved in Cincinnati for decades.

        Cincinnati's black home ownership rate of 27 percent is the lowest of major Ohio cities and well below the national average of 46 percent. CAN leaders said they hope to increase those numbers by creating new programs to increase home ownership and building on programs launched by community groups like Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME). The privately funded task force also hopes to develop strategies to encourage both blacks and whites to stay in the city.

        “With this team, CAN will bring together voices and viewpoints from a broad spectrum with a commitment to creating and sustaining home ownership opportunities for a greater number of our citizens and providing access to safe and affordable housing for the entire community,” Mr. Cody said.

        Ms. Schwab, residential development adviser for Downtown Cincinnati Inc., said she is excited about her appointment and is eager to share her four years of research on how to bring more housing to urban cores.

        “This is a good opportunity for me to give something back to the community, because we've got to figure this thing out,” Ms. Schwab said. “This is quite a commitment and everybody on board seems to be willing to give the time.”

        The commission's police and justice system team unveiled its membership Sunday and other action teams will be announced within the next two weeks.

        Cincinnati CAN was formed by Mayor Charlie Luken in response to the outbreak of violence and protest over the April 7 shooting death of Timothy Thomas, 19. The race panel, charged with eliminating disparities in housing, education and employment, is funded through corporate and foundation contributions.

       



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