Thursday vote may mean more public housing for Green Township

CHMA Board to consider compliance deal

CINCINNATI - The Board of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) is expected to vote Thursday on a Voluntary Compliance Agreement to satisfy a finding of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The agreement will likely mean the creation of more public housing units in Green Township and other communities in Hamilton County.

HUD's action stemmed from actions of the former CHMA board chairman to try and prevent additional public housing units from being added to the 27 already existing in the township.

The CHMA Board met in Executive Session for 90 minutes Monday to review the document that lawyers for the agency and HUD have been working on for months.

All that HUD Spokesperson Shantae Goodloe would say from Washington was that "negotiations are continuing."

Meanwhile, Hamilton County Commissioners delayed a vote on a separate matter -- a Cooperation Agreement that would allow CHMA to establish as many as 375 public housing units in suburban communities.

CMHA originally wanted up to 500 units, the county suggested 250 and the compromise was to the middle-ground number of 375. The document does not list where those units will be located or what type they would be.

Approval had been expected during Monday's staff meeting to forward the matter to the Commmissioners' Wednesday agenda, but no vote was taken.

Republicans Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel, along with Democrat Todd Portune, said they don't have enough information yet to decide whether a vote is in the best interest of citizens at this time.

Commissioners are expected to go into Executive Session after Wednesday's regular meeting to discuss the potential legal risks with Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Harper.

There are 28 cities, villages and townships in Hamilton County outside of the City of Cincinnati. Each has to decide by June 24 whether to be part of the Cooperation Agreement.

Inclusion in the agreement has strings attached in the form of millions of dollars in federal funds. For example, communities accepting $2.95 million Community Development Block Grant money have to agree to allow public housing within their borders.

Madeira, Mariemont, Indian Hill, Amberley Village and others have opted out and it's not known whether others will follow that same path.

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