Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Touring Our Community with Sen. Voinovich

Today, I joined Mayor Mallory, Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Berding and numerous other community leaders in welcoming Senator George Voinoich to the City and County, taking a tour of some of the communities facing the housing crisis head on, and explaining how we plan to invest the $8 million the County recently received from the federal government to battle foreclosures and blight.

For the Channel 9 story, go to: http://www.wcpo.com/content/specials/2008/economy2008/story.aspx?content_id=c3231b2f-50a9-4ed4-a924-1dbec0d3eeb8.

Overall, it was an incredibly productive morning. After walking some of the streets of Price Hill and observing some of the most troubled properties, along with some that have been rehabilitated by Price Hill Will, we hosted a community roundtable in Northside. There, we gave the Senator input on how the federal housing bill that led to the dollars might be amended to make the program more useful and workable at the neighborhood level.

I'm glad to say that Senator Voinovich reacted very favorably to the County's approach to spending the dollars, which we will approve at tomorrow's Commission meeting, and then submit to the federal government by December 1.

He also appeared very impressed by the County/City partnership on foreclosure prevention counseling, which has prevented more than 700 foreclosures since early 2007. We underscored the priority of such counseling efforts, and urged him to consider ways to allow more federal dollars to be invested in counseling.

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