In difficult economic times, public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers form a critical part of the safety net that society provides families struggling to find a home they can afford. Likewise, federal assistance to states and municipalities help those governments provide important public services to their residents at a time when public dollars are scarce.
Recent action by Green Township and other localities to withdraw from Hamilton County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, believing such an action may keep assisted housing out of their communities, makes life more difficult for area families and deprives their current residents of other needed services. We must find ways to work together to help one another.
When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law immediately after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, it was to fulfill a bedrock principle that individuals and families should be able to live where they choose and that illegal discrimination should not interfere. When local public housing residents alleged the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Board threatened retaliation for a fair housing complaint they filed, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigated and brokered an agreement with CMHA for reforms.
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