I hope to read this letter before the Neighborhood Concerns Committee tonight at 6pm. Join me if you can!
My fear after reading the letters distributed by the Cheney campaign and Citizens Concerned About Housing in Lima is that, at best, the landlords in this area have been duped and the tenants and homeowners are being misled. At worst, there are groups trying to use lies for the purpose of political gain and voter intimidation.
I believe there are a few premises that people in Lima can agree on:
- All people deserve safe housing that meets the minimum property maintenance code.
- There is a cost to doing business for all enterprises. One of them for being an investor owner is property maintenance.
- There are exceptional landlords in this area who work to maintain their properties. There are also some whose only desire is to make fast, easy money without much effort.
- There are good tenants in this area, I like to believe I am one of them. There are also renters who are delinquent and destructive.
- The high amount of rental properties is not the only cause, but does contribute to drug sales, crime, poorly maintained properties, and overall devaluing of homes.
- The proposed registry is just that, a proposal. How it achieves its goals, or what the goals even are, is not yet set in stone.
Please feel free to correct me on any of those premises. However, my worry is that the real concern of improving our neighborhoods -and they need it- is getting lost in the threat to needlessly raise everyone’s rent. Very simply, we as voters and our elected city council members can form a committee of all concerned parties and create a registry that achieves goals that are good for business AND good for our community. Those good investor owners deserve our support with a registry and those good tenants as well. However, if you are coming from the point of view that you cannot afford to make your properties meet code, then you should find a line a business that you have the means for. Or if you believe that poor people should be happy with whatever shack they are given, and you have a right to make money off unsafe and unfit housing, then I’m not so sure I want you doing business in my town.
The truth is, we do all have the right to safe housing that isn’t an eyesore. And unlike the letter sent out by the “Citizens Concerned About Housing in Lima, LTD” states (which is not actually a group registered with the state of Ohio, nor apparently are they citizens of Lima), some of us can afford to live in the townships but choose to live in Lima. My neighbors and I like each other and the things Lima has to offer us. I believe our current and would-be politicians and business investors need to demonstrate they care about this city as much as we do, not make excuses and threats to hold it down.