The City of Toledo s Department of Economic and Community Development and the Fair Housing Center sponsored a tour today showcasing a variety of Toledo s communities, including areas served by the following Community Development Corporations: Neighborhood Housing Services, Northriver, Warren Sherman and Neighborhoods in Partnership. Over 130 housing industry professionals, representing real estate, title and insurance companies, community development corporations, neighborhood associations, city officials, fair housing advocates, and banks attended the tour. Those in attendance expressed interest in learning more about and becoming involved with the positive changes taking place in Toledo s core city neighborhoods.
Tour participants had a chance to view new housing and commercial developments and rehabilitation projects, experience the positive changes in Toledo s urban landscape, learn about opportunities to expand market presence, and network with members of Toledo s neighborhood development team and neighborhood organizations. We put this tour together to show people in the housing industry as well as commercial developers that there are many exciting projects and opportunities in Toledo s central city, stated Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the Fair Housing Center.
The tour began at the Navy Bistro, with a continental breakfast and education sessions focusing on brownfield revitalization. Highlights of the tour included visiting the Starboard Side Condominiums and new housing in the Warren Sherman neighborhood.
The city of Toledo and various community development corporations as well as other private partners collaborated on several projects to assist in the completion of approximately 519 new housing units, including 33 units in former warehouse or commercial buildings, 888 rehab projects, 156 units that had emergency repairs, and 19 lead-based paint projects from January 1, 2004 through June 30, 2004.
According to Ms. Rice, A major goal of the tour was to make professionals in the housing industry aware of equal housing opportunities and to help increase the availability of services in urban neighborhoods. Professionals in the housing industry need to be affirmatively marketing all neighborhoods, and this tour gives them up to date exposure to the opportunities in the urban market. Other goals included encouraging those in attendance to become involved in the revitalization efforts and promoting partnerships between representatives of the various components of the housing industry.
The Women of the Old West End and several other concerned citizens and organizations established the Fair Housing Center in 1975 to combat discriminatory practices in housing that were destroying Toledo s neighborhoods. Since its inception, the Center has investigated over 8,100 allegations of housing discrimination, recovered over $24.5 million in damages for the victims and demonstrated a talent for setting national precedents that have expanded housing opportunities for millions of Americans across the country.