Thursday, February 24, 2011
Proposed Federal Budget Cuts could mean less demolitions in Cincinnati
First I have VERY mixed emotions about this. I work in a lot of cities where CDBG funds are use in a responsible manner for variety of programs that truly benefit its residents.
However I have been a vocal opponent of the way our city spends its CDBG funds with a high emphasis on "Blight abatements/demolitions', the big unknown is just where cuts would take place, For example, the city has some good community based projects like "artworks' that provide work opportunities for young people . There area variety of community health centers that provide needed medical care to people without health insurance. These are good things and should be continued and I hope CDBG funds would be there for those projects.
My fear is that city officials will cut needed programs in favor of demolition which provided 'administrative monies' that help shore up a bloated city inspections department.. Clearly we have a new preservation energy in this city. The year long struggle to save the Gamble House, the senseless CPS demolitions as well as the continued demo if viable historical structures and the proposed demos on Euclid Avenue has galvanized the preservation community and engaged many more people who never gave historic preservation a thought.
We have had some successes and more and more homes are being bought throughout the city with restoration rather than speculation in mind.. Since we know these cuts are coming I think we should work hard to see that available funds go to real development projects not Blight=Bulldozer projects. To that end we need to lobby the council to see that we make the best and highest use of those funds we have in helping the community where it's needed rather than supplementing the overhead costs of the inspections office.
After all its called Community DEVELOPMENT Block Grants , not Community DEMOLITION Block Grants.