Question 1: Across the country, local and statewide affordable housing trust funds with consistent, dependable public revenue have long proven to be effective in preserving and producing affordable homes to combat the housing crisis. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now has called for at least $50 million in city funds to be allocated annually to Cincinnati’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Do you agree the City can and should generate at least $50 million city dollars annually, while maintaining existing vital services, and annually allocate it to the development and preservation of affordable housing?
I'm Nick Jabin. I'm one the youngest candidates out here, but I'm a mental health activist and street activist out here, so I know about the affordable housing crisis out here in Cincinnati. It's a big issue just when it comes to our homeless population, as we know, and when it comes to just people that are trying to stay stabilized. So I definitely think that when it comes to affordable housing, we should be able to allocate at least $50 million from the city's budget to help fund affordable housing and make affordable housing for our citizens and our residents here in Cincinnati. It's a big issue and we can see that as we're spending millions of dollars on other things that don't matter, and that the people don't want that to have happening. Like what Brian Garry said, the streetcar, we allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to that, but we could have allocated at least 100 million of that, probably to affordable housing if we really wanted to. If we could have figured something out. It's just being creative and figuring these solutions out productively when it comes to making these things happen. They're not spending the funds on things that we do not need. So it's just being smarter in our decisions and actually representing people's values when it comes to spending those funds, so that's all I had to say.
Question 2: The City of Cincinnati freely awards public subsidies and benefits like land, zoning changes, and tax abatements to private development projects. Hundreds of cities across the country reserve these incentives only for projects that include affordable housing. Would you support an ordinance requiring the inclusion of affordable housing and prevailing wage jobs in order for developers to be awarded these incentives? Thousands of Cincinnatians have been displaced from their homes so that developers can move in people with higher incomes. Would you sponsor an ordinance that would make it such that developers could not both displace people for gain and receive city incentives?
It definitely is an agenda piece and priority for me as I get in office, if I do get elected, to pass a piece of legislation with the new council to figure out how to make it illegal for there not to be a fair balance within each neighborhood, when it comes to development, when it comes to gentrification and just making condos or whatever tax agreements we're giving away. We have to really evaluate when it comes to who's getting those abatements and who's getting those breaks, and figure out if it’s the best decision for the city to be making. So it's definitely a priority to stop a lot of that stuff when it comes to all the grief that we've been taking when it comes to just allowing all that stuff to happen so we definitely need to be harder when it comes to those decisions and actually be making decisions based on getting all of our people back in housing. I mean like Evan said, affordable housing is a human right and it is human right and we need all of our people to be living in affordable housing and housing that they can stay sustainable and actually live their lives freely to do so, whatever way they want to.
Question 3: Cincinnati has been cited as one of the most segregated cities in our country. The continuing legacy of systemically racist and classist housing and development policies and practices have left entire communities out of opportunities for economic success, while other communities have been created as places of concentrated wealth. Black People are most harmed by these discriminatory policies. How will your plans for affordable housing benefit Black People specifically? How will you work to increase access to wealthy neighborhoods?
The candidate left the forum early and did not answer this question