Cincy Council may "unsupport" Avondale housing project

Dec 10, 2013

Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday to withdraw support for a controversial housing project in Avondale.  National Church Residences wants to build up to 100 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled individuals. 

City Council approved a resolution in February supporting the group's effort to get low income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.  Those credits have since been approved. 

But residents on Alaska Avenue oppose the project and now Council may approve another resolution rescinding its support.  Resident Morris Williams said his concern is about communication.

"Not only did no one contact us," Williams said.  "When they did, they contacted us after the fact.  And then we're being forced to take the project anyway.  That's a violation of trust."

But homeless advocates said the project is badly needed, and the plan needs to go forward.

"There is no such thing as a perfect location," said Kevin Finn, executive director of Strategies to End Homelessness.  "Which is why it is important to have a conversation about how a project could be customized to fit into a neighborhood to address the concerns of the people that would be around it."

Finn said there are many things about Commons at Alaska yet to be decided including issues like security and transportation for residents.

A Council Committee approved the repeal resolution Tuesday.  But there were only two members at the session.  It's unclear if there are three other council members willing to support the effort.