Regarding the letter entitled "OTR Is a Struggle" (issue of June 7-13), Mike Morgan got it wrong when he said there is high vacancy rate in Section 8 property in Over-the-Rhine. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Section 8 housing is in high demand and has the highest occupancy rate and waiting lists to get in. There might be a few exceptions in OTR. I can think of only one example where vacancy might be high, but I think that's widely recognized as being due to poor management and HUD is in the process of terminating the Section 8 on that building because it failed to meet decent, safe and sanitary conditions.
In addition, I'm curious when realtors and developers talk about how terrible Over-the-Rhine is for low income families, do they use the same language when they're attempting to attract future condo owners? I suspect they present a different picture and sell the idea of a future safe and clean OTR.
It will be nice if the "most vulnerable poor" can benefit from increased investment in the community and enjoy a safe and clean OTR, too.
— Mary Burke, Over-the-Rhine Housing Network
Healthy City and Healthy OTR
I would like to thank Greg Flannery for drawing attention to data that helps clear up misconceptions about Drop Inn Center residents and the recent Over-the-Rhine arrest sweeps (Porkopolis, issue of May 31-June 6). I believe that we can make a difference more effectively by working with accurate data.
That way we can avoid negative stereotypes and target programs more successfully.
For example, did you know that 40 percent of the residents of the Drop Inn Center stay only two weeks or less? Did you know that 95 percent of our residents had no contact with law enforcement in the past five months? Did you know that 40 percent of our residents are working?
For those individuals who do suffer from addiction, physical and/or mental health issues, studies show that assertive engagement and supportive, affordable housing are the best way to improve people's lives long-term. Both of these services, and more, are provided by the Drop Inn Center.
We need to move forward toward a healthy city and a healthy Over-the-Rhine. I believe that the efforts of the Drop Inn Center and those who work for affordable housing make Cincinnati a healthier place.
— Pat Clifford, General Coordinator, Drop Inn Center