Agreement allows more public housing in Green Township, but will also put housing in other suburbs

Green Township, OH - There is a settlement over the number of public housing units going to Green Township in the next few years.

The dispute dragged on for months through federal court with Green Township fighting back against a proposed expansion of public housing in the community.

The issue came down to the expansion of public housing into more suburban neighborhoods.

Green Township says it fought back because the expansion was to take place primarily in their community, but now that won't happen.   

The township has agreed to allow 32 more public housing units in the community.

The 32 units were part of the original proposal, but Green Township Trustees Chairman, Dave Linnenberg, says what they didn't like was Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority's demand that the expansion program take place primarily in their community before moving to other suburban neighborhoods.

"It's also important that this says that we don't have to be first. That was one of our biggest problems. Originally the voluntary compliance agreement said that the first 32 units that CHMA purchased in the whole county had to be in Green. Now, it's saying that that is not the case. Some can be Green, but some can also be in other communities throughout," Linnenberg said.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune voted to approve an agreement with HUD and the county for a cooperation agreement on public housing.

The county had delayed the vote for months in order to give Green Township and HUD a chance to work out their differences in court.

Hartmann says he is pleased HUD will not force the public housing expansion primarily in Green Township.

"The federal government is agreeing to not single Green Township out. I think that was the essence of this whole dispute," Hartmann said after Monday's vote.

Linnenberg says Green Township has never been opposed to public housing.

He says this agreement, to allow 32 additional public housing units in their community, is proof the township is not racist.

There were some who suggested that's the reason Green Township wanted to keep public housing to a minimum in order to keep minorities out.

"We share 10 miles of border with the City of Cincinnati....We are happy to have anyone who wants to come into Green Township come," said Linnenberg.

The law does allow communities to opt out of these public housing programs, but that means they won't be eligible for federal block grants.
Linnenberg says Green Township may opt out in the future, but for now more public housing is welcome.

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