Affordable Housing Needed for Low Income Clevelanders

     There is a significant need to preserve existing rental units and produce additional affordable housing for low-income residents for both the general population and special needs populations. Given the income levels of most current and former TANF recipients, there is a specific need to increase the supply of affordable rental housing.

Within first 90 days:

1. Maintain the current city efforts to preserve existing housing that has a project based subsidy.

2. Review existing housing development funding and identify opportunities for funding preservation and development of low income housing (create a priority in the city’s housing trust fund).

3. Convene the Northeast Ohio Legislative delegation and request their support for a dedicated revenue source for the state housing trust fund at a $100 million a year level. In addition, consider enabling legislation that would allow the development of a local trust fund that could match and use state generated funds along with a local dedicated revenue source.

4. Create an alliance with the mayors of other Ohio cities facing severe housing shortages for their low-income population to develop a strategy for funding the state housing trust fund.

5. Introduce legislation that prohibits discrimination in rental housing based on source of income (use of Section 8 vouchers).

6. Sign-on to Sept. 1998 city council resolution making policy to preserve project based section 8 properties in Cleveland.

Within One Year

1. Develop a plan for the preservation of existing privately owned multi-family housing that builds community capacity to rehab and manage the housing.

2. Convene a working group with representatives from City Council, Housing and Urban Development, NEOCH, Cleveland Tenant Organization, CMHA, and Community Development Corporations that focuses on increasing the supply of very low income housing and develops a plan including options for subsidizing rental housing development for very low income renters.

3. Create a neighborhood trust fund with a dedicated revenue source to support community development at $100 million a year in addition to present funding (Community Development Block Grant/Home, etc.) for homeownership, commercial and green space projects and then target the existing City Housing Trust Fund to subsidize very low income housing development and retention of multi-family rental units and preservation of project based subsidy units.

4. Make the expansion of supportive housing a priority initiative of the joint City-County Office on Homelessness.

5. Make the development of a plan to address multi-family rental properties problems with elevator repair a priority for the Department of Building and Housing.

Copyright NEOCH published 2002 Issue 52