Come Out and Say, "NO WAY"

By Josh Spring

As Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati try to kick seven households out of their homes, they are also asking our City for yet another benefit. Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati are trying to steal the homes of people from ages 99 to 5 and simultaneously are asking our city to change the zoning rules for them.

Already they have the City Planning Commission and City Council approving a major zoning change, which allows them much more leeway in construction. Now, they are asking for approval of a major amendment to the original zoning benefit they received. This means, if approved, it would include 421 Wade Street. This is where they are trying to force people from their homes. Sitting close by is 1559 Central Avenue where they are also trying to remove people.

Perhaps they thought the many people who care about basic human rights would not notice this, but we do. There is one more important meetings about this coming up and we need everyone to come out and demand that our City not provide another benefit to FCC Cincinnati if they still plan to displace people from their homes. A city planning commission hearing will be held Friday, May 10, 2019 at 9 am in Two Centennial Plaza on the 7th floor.

On Tuesday April 30th, 2019, FightBack Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition attended the Public City Planning Staff conference about Fc Cincinnati’s request for the zoning change. We still ask people to support our cause and loudly demand that FC Cincinnati agree that they will not tell any of the residents at Wade Street & Central Avenue to leave or threaten evictions. A meeting between the tenants and FC Cincinnati has to be held to be able to reach an agreement. Tenants are also asking that FC Cincinnati renovate 1559 Central Avenue and give ownership to Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, allowing those currently residing in 1559 to stay there. We know that this would still displace those in 421 over to 1559 Central Avenue, but in an effort to reach a resolution, the tenants are offering this compromise. In order for this to happen, FC Cincinnati will have to pay any associated moving costs and financial compensation to each tenant.

Last year, Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati publicly told everyone they would not displace anybody. Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), the region’s fair housing watchdog, told FC Cincinnati they have significant concerns that FCC is acting in violation of federal fair housing law. Federal fair housing law prohibits discrimination of people of specific races or color and people who are differently abled. The tenants say, “we are all either Black and/ or have handicaps.”

Jef Berding and FC Cincinnati have not responded to HOME. As of now, even after a brief meeting with Jeff and FC Cincinnati on Friday April 26th, FC Cincinnati is still telling the tenants to leave their homes.

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