Friday, October 12, 2001

Luken housing stance stresses owning homes

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Mayor Charlie Luken unveiled a neighborhood platform Thursday that attempts to pay attention to the details.

        The focus of Mr. Luken's housing plan is to encourage more single-family development in a city with a home ownership rate of just 38 percent.

        Mr. Luken announced his plan on Westwood Northern Boulevard, where a developer has just received city approval for 65 new single-family homes starting at $109,000.

        He called for a moratorium on new low-income housing developments in some neighborhoods — like Westwood, Price Hill and College Hill — that have already been “oversaturated” with federally subsidized units.

        “Too many of our neighborhoods have been inundated with rental units and subsidized housing, and it's time to reverse that trend,” he said.

        The rest of the plan, which Mr. Luken said would require no new taxes, also includes creation of a housing court that would deal full-time with building code violations.

        He also supports a new zoning code — the most comprehensive overhaul since the 1950s — that will encourage single-family housing.

        His opponent, Courtis Fuller, has called for special taxing districts for neighborhood businesses and an aggressive “Mayor's Turf War” on blight and deterioration.

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