Welcome to the Movement

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Housing is a human right. Every child and adult deserves a good night of sleep before school or work. Our Affordable Housing Trust Fund could provide homes for 500 families each year, but it is currently empty. Until a revenue source is identified, our Affordable Housing Trust Fund will stay empty. That's why we are organizing this movement.

 

Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, affordable, and accessible place to call home. A fully-funded Affordable Housing Trust Fund looks like:

  • The planning, production, maintenance, or expansion of affordable housing, including inclusionary housing. This will include the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned housing in historically neglected neighborhoods.

  • The acquisition, development, and new construction of housing that is affordable for people who earn less than $14,000 per year.

  • Direct housing placement services to low income households that assist them in their housing stability.

Members of the advisory  Committee

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Peg Fox, Committee Co-Chair and Member of the Endorsement Team

Peg serves as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati. MARCC is an interfaith coalition of Judicatories, similar to denominations, that work on social justice issues to improve public policy and in the process civil discourse. The work of MARCC has a history of working on housing issues - displacement/affordable housing/homelessness. MARCC continues to advocate for local resolutions to critical housing issues and policies – Affordable Housing Trust Fund Ordinance, Vacant Properties Ordinance, Short Term Rental Ordinance, Land Installment Ordinance. MARCC cares about equal access to safe and affordable housing. People need housing security. It contributes to  their overall health and well-being, and makes room for a more diverse and inclusive community. MARCC wants to lend a hand in making that happen by supporting dedicated, protected funding for that purpose.

Josh Spring, Committee Co-Chair

Josh is the Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Area Coalition for the Homeless since 2009. He is a licensed Social Worker with a degree from the College of Social Work from Xavier University. Josh began learning about homelessness directly from those who were experiencing it. While working as a Social Worker for tenants of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing's 250 units of affordable housing, he noticed that residents repeatedly experienced the same or similar issues. This influenced his desire to organize systemic efforts to take on the root causes of homelessness. 

Mike Volmer, Member of issues committee

Michael Volmer was born and raised in Northern Kentucky and has lived in Cincinnati for the past five years. Mike graduated from Northern Kentucky University and has been a practicing social worker and Case Manager since 2012. Mike began his career as a Mental Health Case Manager at a large Mental Health agency in Cincinnati. Mike has worked at Caracole since 2014 as a front-line worker, medical and social service coordinator and housing case manager for people living with HIV. During this time Mike’s focus has been on housing for his clients and advocating for housing services within the community. Mike represents Caracole at The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless meetings and Serves on the Board as Treasure for Affordable Housing Advocates Cincinnati.

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Heather Sturgill, Member of the Issues Committee

After having been the Interim Director of Citizens for Civic Renewal (CCR) where Heather Sturgill encouraged all to become civically aware and engaged, she realized that many were unable to participate due to various barriers.  She then decided to focus on using her Master of Community Planning degree from UC’s School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) to address barriers to community living for disadvantaged populations.  She then contracted with the Center for Independent Living Options (CILO) to work on specific barriers having to do with housing, transportation and personal assistance services.  This led to being President of Housing Opportunities Made Equal and Chair of the Cincinnati Accessibility Board of Advisors (CABA) as well as other work addressing barriers to community living.

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Russel Hairston

Russell Hairston became the Executive Director of the Avondale Development Corporation in January 2017, where he is responsible for administration, fundraising and sustainability development.  He has more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing high-impact, award-winning strategies to improve urban neighborhoods.

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Joele Newman, field team organizer

Joele Newman is a part of the Community Education team at Peaslee Neighborhood Center as a Community Organizer and Youth Program Facilitator. She works on Peaslee's neighborhood and city wide campaigns that focus on equitable development practices, transparent decision making processes and large scale community engagement. Joele has a passion for equity and social change in communities and believes in the power of organic organizing.

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Katy Heins, Field team organizer

Katy Heins, Senior Organizer with the Center for Community Change. Katy has been an organizer with the Center for Community Change for eleven years. Presently she is part of the Housing Trust Fund team, lending organizing expertise to local and state campaigns. Previously at the Center, she has worked on the national health care campaign, immigrant rights campaign and jobs campaign as well as being instrumental in developing with CCC’s state partner, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a project call Ohio Movement Builders which works to organize new leaders through a robust training and education program allowing for opportunities of empowerment so that people join the movement for social change. Before joining the Center, Katy was the Executive Director of the Contact Center in Cincinnati whose mission is to empower low-income people, especially women, to organize for power in their communities and their lives. Katy, also was the lead organizer for Let Justice Roll which was the faith and volunteer component of the successful effort to raise Ohio’s minimum wage and nationally. Katy is based out of Cincinnati Ohio.

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Matt Strauss

During college, Matt Strauss began a two-track path of community development and theology when he began his Religious Studies degree at the same time he started part-time stints rehabbing houses for the Camp Washington Community Board.  He continued this work as a VISTA in Newark, New Jersey then completing his master’s degree at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he specialized in 19th Century German Religious Criticism.  He came to CAA after twenty years of working in full-time in neighborhood development in Camp Washington, Price Hill, and most recently, Madisonville.  He spent those years rehabbing and building affordable housing, working with owners and renters to improve living conditions and preventing displacement, while also teaching evenings and weekends at Mt. St. Joseph University.  He spends his free time with his wife, daughter and far too many pets. 

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Marsha L. White

Marsha L. White has worked in the social services field for over 18 years. In her current role with Over the Rhine Community Housing, Marsha assists Veterans, low-moderate income families and individuals with locating rental housing, credit counseling, budgeting, pre-home buyer, and pre-rental counseling. Marsha is also a member of various committees such as The Affordable Housing Advocates, and The Cincinnati Action for Housing Now committee.

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Alice Flanders, Communications and Events Team Lead

Alice Flanders was born and raised in Cincinnati and graduated from CCM at the University of Cincinnati. Alice has been outspoken and passionate about injustice in our city and our world for years but has only recently joined the fight for affordable housing, and couldn't be happier that she's doing it with Cincinnati Action for Housing Now as the PR Team Co-Lead.

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Janiah Miller, Campaign Events Coordinator

Janiah Miller, born and raised in the Greater Cincinnati area, is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University. Her advocacy has taken many forms: she has provided support for political campaigns and offices, assisted in legislative and constituent support, and built intersectional coalitions within the community. She currently serves for Cincinnati as the Director of Community Relations for Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney.

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Carolyn Fast, Field team organizer

 

Carolyn Fast is a Stage Manager and proud member of Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional Actors and Stage Managers. She is originally from New Jersey and has called Cincinnati home for the past five years. She has taken the near-total shutdown of the theatre industry as an opportunity to become more involved in the very necessary work being done in Cincinnati to improve the lives of the most marginalized and disenfranchised citizens.

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Annabelle Arbogast, Field team Organizer

Annabelle Arbogast is a member of Public Allies Cincinnati, an AmeriCorps leadership development program. She completed a master’s degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati in 2014 and is a doctoral candidate in Social Gerontology at Miami University.

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Patricia Garry

Patricia is a long-time community and housing activist in Cincinnati, working since the early 70's to improve housing conditions and housing production for Cincinnati residents.   She is a co-founder and previous Executive Director of the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati, now Homebase, and serves as co-vice-chair on the Board of the Affordable Housing Advocates.  She is also a member of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. 

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Bill Woods

Bill Woods is the founder and President of Applied Information Resources, an urban research/public policy non-profit. He is a former President of the boards of MARCC and Common Cause Ohio as well as a board member of Advocates for Affordable Housing.

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Alice Skirtz, Campaign Treasurer

Alice Skirtz, LISW-S, Social Worker social services and emergency shelter, Family Shelter Partnership; Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition co-founder (1984), and current Board Member; author Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor.

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Amanda Lynn Barker, Campaign Manager

Amanda is the Director of Community Organizing with the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. Her political advocacy experience includes grassroots community organizing for statewide environmental justice campaigns in California and Oregon, and she has lobbied for healthcare access reform with the California State Legislature. Amanda believes in mobilizing the power of the community to achieve systemic change.