CH is a tale of two cities
A tale of two cities will continue to be my tagline for and reference to Cleveland Heights until city council and the mayor take action on more equitable efforts, including development and resources for the north side of the city. After all, this was the mayor’s top priority—equitable investment in the neighborhoods. I’m still waiting.
In the noise around the Noble Station project, supporters want to use the term "affordable housing" to distinguish it from "low-income housing"—as if "affordable" is better or different. It's pretty much the same thing, when some rents will be as low as $400.
At the Aug. 7 CH City Council meeting, residents of Noble neighborhood showed up to oppose the plan. Noble Road has more than its share of low-income, affordable apartments in a span of several blocks; one more is NOT needed. This is hardly the equitable investment we expect or want.
Affordable or low-income housing is needed, but should be planned as mixed-income housing throughout the city, not just on the already deprived and struggling north side. Apartments and single-family homes with mixed, blended income levels are the ideal, focused on homeownership, and building legacy, wealth, and pride in the community.
We want a community where our children can play; a walkable neighborhood with a grocery and drug store, a coffee shop, restaurants, goods and services; and entertainment and recreation for all ages. North of Mayfield residents are entitled to these amenities, too!
The city should commit to a strong partnership with FutureHeights and the Home Repair Resource Center and support their efforts to rehab homes throughout the city; fund Start Right CDC's infill housing project that will create a mixed-income neighborhood and increase home values; use federal community development block grants, if possible, to help struggling businesses with repair and external, unified facelifts; repurpose the old CVS; and recruit and support aspiring business owners to the area.
This Noble Station low-income project, which received tax credits through the Ohio Housing Financing Agency, is proposed to cost $14.7 million. If the city and the Indianapolis-based developer Together We Grow (TWG) are committed to building a multi-story complex, here’s a thought: I and perhaps others in the Noble neighborhood would welcome affordable housing for our low-income aging population. (I know the struggle in my attempt to relocate my 82-year-old father back home to Nebraska. We have been on several affordable-housing waitlists for three years.)
The city administration has an obligation to DELIVER. We’ve waited far too long, with a lot of talk but no progress. We need this city to take action now, in our lifetime, to eliminate the long-term effects and ramifications of redlining and structural racism created decades ago.
Tonya Horn is a concerned Noble neighborhood resident and was a member of the Citizens for an Elected Mayor campaign. She is a FutureHeights board member. The opinion expressed here is her own.