Metropole tenants, 3CDC settle lawsuit

CINCINNATI - It's taken a year and a half for the dust to settle over the lawsuit between evicted tenants of the Metropole Apartments and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

Derwin Tate was told to leave after living in the aging building for 5 years.

He says he's glad the ordeal is behind him.

"Big private entities like this (should) actually take a deeper look at how (they) deal with low income housing," Tate says.

Former Metropole tenants sued 3CDC, The Model Group and others involved in the renovation of the downtown apartment building as a luxury hotel.

The settlement orders the developers to pay $80,000 to the tenants-- who call that a major victory.

"Today is a historic day," says Jennifer Kinsley, the tenants' attorney. "It is the first time that displaced tenants of an affordable housing community have obtained a monetary settlement in their favor."

Tenants say they have more to cheer about than just the money.

The court orders quarterly meetings take place between the parties to discuss development projects and their impact on affordable housing.

"There needs to be oversight," says Josh Spring of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. "And this will not be oversight by some consultant from out of town, this will be Cincinnati citizens."

3CDC issued a statement both praising the settlement and refuting the tenants' claims they were treated unfairly.

"3CDC is pleased that we came to an agreement with the Metropole Tenant Association. For 18 months, we were committed to providing fair and equitable relocation services for all residents. With the help of our relocation team, we provided one-on-one assistance to each resident in an effort to meet each individual's needs. To date, all residents have been successfully relocated to more desirable locations and all needs were met. We are excited to look forward and continue with the development of 21c Cincinnati."

21c refers to the Museum Hotel, which is being built on the Metropole site, across from the Aronoff.

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