2013-02-23 / Editorials & Letters

Council’s rejection of LEADS plan criticized

Editor:

How disappointing, but not surprising to learn that the Buckeye Lake Village Council refused to support a plan by LEADS to construct affordable housing for low income families on vacant lots in the village. This demonstrates a great deal of shortsightedness by the Council which continues to ignore the reality of the living conditions here in the village.

As a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, an outreach group that helps those in need, I and other members have seen firsthand how these families live. You would be shocked by the conditions of some of the homes here in the village - houses with lack of adequate heating, leaking roofs and windows, no running water, and holes in the wall. Many are trying to heat their homes with space heaters and range ovens. We wring our hands over the management of our fire department, but believe me, even the best run fire department won’t be able to save families who may become victims in these fire traps.

Perhaps Council should participate in a different kind of “Parade of Homes” to see how terrible many of the homes and trailers are. Of course there are some renters who abuse and/or destroy property, that is a fact. But there are many more that live here who are struggling financially through no fault of their own – physical or mental disability, loss of job, seniors living on fixed incomes and so on.

You can tell the quality of a community by how they treat the less fortunate. What a great joy it is to lift up those in despair and to ease unnecessary suffering. We had an opportunity to provide qualified families clean, safe and attractive housing in blighted neighborhoods. But once again, we turn our backs and sit in our pretty houses on the lake and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

The question I have is this: is it the goal of the council to drive the poor from the community by blocking quality low income housing or is it to protect those landlords who currently control the existing substandard housing? I certainly hope you are better than that.

Patricia Mayes, President
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Buckeye Lake

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