1.)What is your personal experience with homelessness and or housing insecurity? If you have not personally experienced homelessness or housing insecurity, but have been close to someone who was experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, what do you see as your role? Do you believe housing is a universal human right?
I have been fortunate to have never experienced homelessness or housing insecurity. However, I am familiar with housing issues, both as it relates to blight / quality as well as to affordability. I chaired the Price Hill Will Housing Community Action Team (H-CAT), was a member of the Multi-Neighborhood Task Force, and the Foreclosure Prevention and Homeowner Preservation Task Force. I have seen firsthand the benefit that quality LIHTC projects and well-run recovery housing have brought to Price Hill, as well as the downside of investors and bad landlords who provide substandard rental housing there. Quality, safe housing that is affordable to a wide range of incomes is critical to a healthy neighborhood and should be accessible to all.
2.)According to federal statistics, almost 26% of the population (1 in 4) identify as having a disability, yet the percentage of housing that is accessible has stayed stagnant at less than 3% for over two decades. What steps will you take to make sure that builders and remodelers of housing affordable to households with low-incomes expand accessibility?
When public dollars and tax abatements are used, City council should set expectations for housing development, including enacting policies that tie the creation of affordable units for LMI households to the construction of market-rate housing or commercial development. These policies - or guiding parameters - should be established by council and be applicable to all development deals. Neither council nor the Mayor should be negotiating the terms of individual development deals.
3.)It has been documented that Cincinnati is short of 28,000affordable homes. This 28,000 figure is specific to housing affordable to those of us at the bottom of the economic ladder, making around $18,000 a year or less, roughly Ohio's minimum. What new city legislation would you support or champion as a council member that would ensure more affordable housing is available to Cincinnati households at this level, where the need is greatest? What would this new legislation do?
I support changes to the zoning code that would promote additional units and denser housing development. I would support tax abatements and other financial incentives for market rate developments that are tied to the creation of more affordable units. I would be open to creative ways to fund the City’s housing trust fund so long as other key city services and assets were not compromised. The ultimate solution to housing is budgetary and not necessarily legislative - and the City alone cannot solve the affordable housing crisis. Housing and other key services need to be part of a broader conversation about the city's budget.
4.)About 50 Cincinnati families are now being evicted from their homes daily, and many more are effectively evicted when landlords raise rents and refuse to renew leases. Pay-to-Stay housing protections allow for families who are being evicted for non-payment of rent to pay all owed rent and to stay in their home. Will you push, in earnest, for housing protections? What additional city legislation will you pursue to curb, on a meaningful scale, Cincinnati’s massive crisis of eviction and displacement?
I will consider supporting reasonable pay-to-stay / “good cause” tenant protections and am well aware of the challenges facing month-to-month tenants living in rental housing that does not currently have these protections. I would support harsher penalties for landlords who provide substandard housing. Supporting the law department, DCED and B&I to do City receiverships of substandard rental housing is also important.