Scores of people turned out to speak their minds and ask questions about a proposed Green Township public housing development on Thursday night.
9 On Your Side reporter Lanny Brannock said the standing-room-only crowd at the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority auditorium had strong opinions about the 32 public housing units mandated for Green Township by the federal government - and where CMHA should locate them.
Residents expressed concerns that more public housing would bring crime and lower property values.
"When the crime comes, and we know that it's coming, can we send you the bill?" one speaker said.
The meeting was contentious at times as people filled out surveys on two plans: one that would create a multi-unit complex and one that would spread the units throughout the township. CMHA says it already has approved a proposal to purchase land for a multi-unit complex just north of Westwood-Northern Boulevard between North Bend Road and Boudinot Avenue, but a final decision has not been made.
"What we want to do is make sure we get this right," CMHA executive director Gregory Johnson told the crowd.
Asked for a hand vote, almost everyone in the crowd showed their support for spreading out the units, but Johnson said no matter where the public housing goes, someone will be unhappy.
"I don't think anything we do that (everyone) is going to stand up and say ‘hooray,' " Johnson said.
Residents from Green Township and neighboring Cheviot and Westwood have attended several recent public meetings to protest CMHA's plan for a multi-unit project. CMHA mailed notices of Thursday's meeting to households and businesses in those areas.
Green Township officials are encouraging residents who didn't attend the meeting to fill out the survey online. Go to the township website at http://www.greentwp.org/
Green Township trustees will hear more public comment at their 5 p.m. Monday meeting at the township administration complex, 6303 Harrison Ave.
Green Township, which has 105 public housing units, is required to accept 32 more under terms of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
CMHA has to give a progress report to HUD by the end of the month.