Findlay City Council members on Tuesday debated the planned construction of 50 new subsidized housing units on Bishop Lane on the north side of Findlay.
Councilman Tom Shindledecker, R-at-Large, said he would risk being labeled a not-in-my-backyard bigot to complain about the number of low-income housing units located on the north side of town. He suggested that in the future, subsidized housing units be more fairly distributed throughout the city.
He said the concentration of low-income housing in half of the city puts a strain on the school district.
Shindledecker said more than 70 percent of the student population at both Washington Preschool, 1100 Broad Ave., and Jacobs Primary School, on Jacobs Avenue, already receive free and reduced-price lunches, meaning they live near poverty level. Thats compared with the 41 percent of the student population at both Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School, 600 W. Yates Ave., and Jefferson Primary School, 204 Fairlawn Place, who receive subsidized lunches.
Council has until mid-March to submit objections to the project to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Columbus. Objections must be signed by a majority of council to be considered by the agency. Based on councils reaction Tuesday, thats not likely.
Both Councilmen Jeff Wobser, R-at-Large, and John Harrington, R-5, said Findlay City Schools do an excellent job with students regardless of the demographics, and the housing is needed.
Mayor Lydia Mihalik said the developers have met all permit requirements, so stopping the construction is unlikely. Instead, she said the focus should remain on attracting good-paying jobs to the city.