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Hamilton County Commissioners delay public housing vote

More information requested from CHMA

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CINCINNATI - Hamilton County's Commissioners have delayed until June 27 a vote on a measure that could allow 375 additional public housing units to be located in suburban communities.

Commission President Greg Hartmann asked that the item be pulled from Wednesday's agenda. Fellow Republican Chris Monzel agreed, as did Democrat Todd Portune.

Hartmann said the delay is to get more detailed information on the Cooperation Agreement from the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CHMA).

The June 27 date comes three days after the deadline for the 37 municipalities and 12 townships to decide if they want to opt-out of participating in the agreement. Opting-out means they won't qualify for Community Development Block Grant funding.

"This is the most local of all local decisions," Hartmann said.

Portune said that the federal department of Housing and Urban Development is playing hardball with the county in dictating what can and can't be done.

However, he alleged that in doing so, HUD is not promoting fair housing. Portune added that the county is exploring to fight HUD on the issue.

"If it's good public policy, then it should be good for the entire county, not just for areas that need federal dollars," he stated.

A separate, but just as controversial issue, is HUD's negotiations with CHMA on a Voluntary Compliance Agreement to settle a discrimination finding. That could lead to dozens more public housing units in Green Township.

The CMHA Board meets Thursday at 9 a.m. and could vote on the agreement at that time.


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