Housing Trust Fund Vote Stirs Controversy in Cincinnati

A housing policy debate is taking place on the editorial pages of Cincinnati publications.

March 26, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Carew Tower

Stephanie A Sellers / Shutterstock

Cincinnati voters will be asked to decide on an amendment to the city charter to guarantee $50 million in annual funding for Cincinnati's Housing Trust Fund in an election on May 4.

A pair of dueling opinion pieces, one by Cincinnati Enquirer Columnist Jason Williams [paywall] and another by guest opinion writers Sister Carren Herring and Kathleen Wade.

Here's the premise for the latter opinion, referencing the former:

Voters need to be well-informed in order to make the best decision for all Cincinnatians. Enquirer columnist Jason Williams erroneously equates funding the Housing Trust Fund with defunding our police department in his Feb. 26 column. He claims "the same folks who are behind this (charter amendment)…don't care about safe neighborhoods," and that their sole agenda is to "defund the police."

After clarifying the political coalition behind the amendment, Herring and Wade present the evidence of the need for more action on affordable housing by the city of Cincinnati. "The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city of Cincinnati is $1,357 per month," for example, leaving large portions of the working class out of the range of affordability. "Over 100,000 households in Hamilton County pay over 30% of their income for housing. The top five job types in the Cincinnati region do not pay enough to afford housing over 30% of income."

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 in Cincinnati.com

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