By Josh Spring
April 9th, we, FightBack Cincinnati: Wade Street & Central Avenue Tenants United stated publicly our demand that Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati cease trying to displace us from our homes and instead publicly commit to not putting us out of our homes, re-start regular maintenance of the properties and meet with our group no later than April 16th. This was communicated widely through media outlets and a letter signed by us explaining this was sent directly to Jeff Berding.
Mark Mallory, on behalf of FC Cincinnati has stated that FC Cincinnati called together Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Council on Aging, Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority and Iris Roley of Black United Front to meet this Friday morning at 10 AM to assist with making plans to move Ms. Mary Page from her home. This is Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati’s attempt to make it appear like they care and are doing something good.
There are several problems with this disingenuous attempt by Jeff Berding:
• Ms. Mary Page has made it abundantly clear that she does not want to leave her home. She likes her home and greatly values her nearby support system of neighbors, friends, family and health caretakers.
• This attempt by FC Cincinnati would do nothing positive for the rest of us, from whom, Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati are also trying to steal our homes.
• Our organization, FightBack Cincinnati: Wade Street & Central Avenue Tenants United are a unified body with a singular list of demands, primary of which is to not displace us from our homes.
• As of now, Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati have not responded to our issued demands and have not responded to us to schedule a meeting with our group.
Because of our intention to remain in our homes, our group directly reached out to these organizations. We asked them to support our position, and in support of us to work directly with us and not through FC Cincinnati. As a result, our Tenants United group has met directly today with some of these organizations and is planning future meetings with all of these organizations as we work in pursuit of our demands.
Jeniece Jones, HOME Executive Director, says, “HOME’s primary responsibility is to people facing problems with fair housing. We have learned that tenants living in properties owned by FC Cincinnati would like for us to meet with them in order to better understand their fair housing rights. This is our most pressing obligation.”
Iris Roley of Black United Front expressed that she will not be attending a meeting with FC Cincinnati because she stands with the Tenant group’s position that they not be forced from their homes and she understands that they have called for a meeting with FC Cincinnati to be held on their own timing and terms.
As FightBack Cincinnati: Wade Street & Central Avenue Tenants United we remain steadfast in our demands issued yesterday: Jeff Berding and FC Cincinnati, do not steal our homes. We are looking forward to Jeff directly responding to us to schedule a meeting with us.