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Published: Wednesday, 8/25/2004

Toledo: West Central, Oakwood 2 agencies join forces to increase housing

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo Central City Neighborhoods and Ottawa Community Development Corp. have announced a joint neighborhood revitalization effort that will bring $13.5 million and 82 affordable homes into a couple of low and moderate income communities.

The West Central Homes projects will bring 32 new homes to the established neighborhoods in central and west Toledo. Toledo Central City neighborhoods will build 50 homes and rehabilitate another unit with its Oakwood III and Oakwood IV projects, scheduled to begin construction in September.

West Central Homes is the first joint project between Toledo Central City Neighborhoods and the Ottawa Community Development Corp., costing about $5.2 million.

Toledo Central City's Oakwood projects will bring an additional $8.3 million in new housing to the area.

The bulk of the funding is coming from Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a nonprofit agency in Columbus that raises money for affordable housing projects around the state, mainly through banks.

Institutions that donate to these endeavors get federal tax credits through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, said Brian Langmeyer, vice president of development for the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.

Mr. Langmeyer said he has been working with local entities to provide funding, based on its work with Toledo Central City Neighborhoods and its Oakwood I and II projects, which brought scores of new homes to the area.

"Because of the success of Oakwood I and II, contributing to Oakwood III and IV was a no-brainer," he said. "They were financially successful, tenants seemed to like the homes, and they stayed full. Those are all the things we look for."

Huntington Bank, Charter One Bank, and the City of Toledo also contributed to the project locally, officials said.

Mr. Krompak said he sees construction for West Central Homes starting in Spring, 2005, with the first families moving in about August next year.

"TCCN was created to try to make a difference in these neighborhoods," Harold Hanley, a board member with Toledo Central City. "I think the housing has made a huge difference. Now we are joining with Ottawa, and I think we can make an even bigger impact."

Pearlia Kynard, who owns the P&L Professional Center, 3420 Monroe St. with her husband, said the new housing has created a sense of pride among the neighbors. She said it is also motivating existing businesses in the area to hang on and new businesses to come in. "You've had more people moving out than moving in," Mrs. Kynard said. "I think it brings up the morale. "

Ellen Rodriguez, economic development specialist at Ottawa Community Development Corp., said the new homes have provided a boost of confidence for the Auburndale businesses.

Ottawa is in the process of trying to revitalize the Auburndale business district, at and near the Monroe Street and Auburn Avenue intersection.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095



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