Print Page | Close Window

City Council Retreat: 2018 Housing Issues Fix

Printed From:
Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: City Manager
Forum Description: Discuss the city manager administration including all city departments.
Printed Date: Apr 14 2024 at 8:06am

Topic: City Council Retreat: 2018 Housing Issues Fix
Posted By: Analytical
Subject: City Council Retreat: 2018 Housing Issues Fix
Date Posted: Feb 06 2018 at 7:34pm

Middletown officials want to fix housing issues in 2018.

Here’s what they’re thinking.

  •" rel="nofollow - Ed Richter
  •   Staff Writer
 4:45 p.m Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018" rel="nofollow - Local News

Members of Middletown City Council listened to a presentation by city Economic Development Director Jennifer Ekey about various incentive programs offered by the city and the state to assist in attracting new businesses and jobs to Middletown. Council held its a half-day retreat Jan. 20 at Hueston Woods State Park Lodge outside of Oxford. Council heard updates and progress reports from City Manager Doug Adkins as well as discussed planning for the development of a city housing policy. ED RICHTER/STAFF


City Manager Doug Adkins told Middletown City Council that developing a new housing policy “will be one of the hardest things we’ll do over the next several years.”

Adkins made his comments during the January council retreat held at Hueston Woods State Park Lodge. He said the development of the new housing policy and using a new data system to address chronic housing nuisances in the community will be key points in 2018.

Council reviewed the progress of the city over the past three years and the efforts being made to streamline city government. It also received an overview of the city’s economic development efforts and incentive programs available to attract and retain businesses and create new jobs." rel="nofollow -

Adkins said the city is looking at developing a 10- to 20-year housing revitalization plan that would both look to develop buffers between residential and heavy industrial areas as well as rehabilitate the city’s neighborhoods.

“We’re still working to identify a process to establish a policy,” he said. “Once we figure what we’re going to do, we can decide on what tools to use.”

Last May, Adkins made a presentation outlining the city’s housing issues to illustrate the need to balance the city’s housing stock to better understand the scope of the problem and how it affects the city’s property values." rel="nofollow - MORE: Middletown housing: Landlords weigh in on need for balance

Adkins said the city would work from a least intrusive to most intrusive process to create buffers by addressing vacant property, out of town landlords with vacant property and local landlords with vacant property before reaching any homeowners.

As for rehabilitation of the neighborhoods, he said a plan would be developed to include housing with new construction options and upper-end housing, downtown market rate living options, new market rate apartments and renovating existing neighborhoods outside of the buffer areas.

Adkins said in the last Census estimate released in 2015, the city had about 3,000 vacant housing units.

“There are lots of places to start without impacting anybody,” he said.

The plan would also focus on developing a diverse and balanced housing stock to create the best choices in single/multi-family housing types, the mix of bedrooms and square-footage in housing, historic or new construction, affordability, amenities and density. He also said the city needs to work to ensure all structures are 100 percent compliant with the city codes." rel="nofollow -

In 2018, Adkins said a housing committee will be re-established that will include realtors, landlords, bankers, home builders, remodelers, nonprofit housing, Community Aligned for Real Equity representatives, council members, community revitalization, police and fire department representatives.

He said the committee would be created “as fast as we can do it right. There is no set timetable. We’re not just checking a box. We’re looking for long-term improvement for the community.”

In addition, city officials will go into the community to have conversations about housing needs. From those conversations, Adkins said he hopes to turn the concepts into a city housing policy that council will eventually approve." rel="nofollow -

Adkins outlined a number of tools and programs that other Ohio cities have utilized such as converting vacant properties into pocket parks or other neighborhood uses; flipping houses from the Butler County Land Bank to resell to a homeowner; in-fill new construction; housing for city/school professionals; maintenance assistance programs to assist elderly homeowners and other grant programs.

Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Feb 07 2018 at 1:56pm
Over the past nearly nine years, more than $18,000,000 in funds have been spent for "highly questionable downtown deals" and for an older neighborhoods scattered residential blitzkrieg by Mr. Adkins with city council member support. Now, with greatly diminished funds available (UDAG, Downtown Fund, Etc.) and no HUD give-away's (NSP) in sight, where's the necessary capital available to complete lingering central city projects and to rebuild the added mess foisted upon the residents of the former second ward?  This, above all, is the pertinent question for Mr. Adkins to elaborate.

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Feb 07 2018 at 10:25pm
"Adkins outlined a number of tools and programs that other Ohio cities have utilized such as converting vacant properties into pocket parks or other neighborhood uses; flipping houses from the Butler County Land Bank to resell to a homeowner; in-fill new construction; housing for city/school professionals; maintenance assistance programs to assist elderly homeowners and other grant programs."

Sometimes you just gotta love Mr. Adkins.

1. Pocket parks.  Like we need more grass to cut.  Oh yeah, as bucktoothed as some neighborhoods have become and are becoming - just how many pocket parks are we gonna need?  A nice idea - but it fails in implementation and suitability.

2. Flipping houses to resell to a homeowner.  Seriously?  No one wants these houses to begin with....who's the newly created buyer now?  Furthermore - if the bottom-feeding landlords (the Sec8'ers and the BBrents and whatever else is out there now) don't see the value in taking these and making them something - where is the buyer that does?  Insanity.

3. Infill new construction.  If you are building a new home in Middletown today - are you building it in these neighborhoods?  I doubt it.

4. Elderly Maintenance.  Sure.  Is that really the issue?  Is our problem really that older folks can't keep up with their properties?  I drive through these neighborhoods and find that it's only the OLDER people who DO keep up with their properties!

5. Other grant programs.  There's not enough money in these funds to make the difference.

Of course, I've offered to help with these things - to help serve on any boards or whatever to help work through this mess - never taken up on it.

I'm sick of hearing that housing is this city's problem.  This city's problem is jobs.  Where there's a housing crisis - there's no jobs.  Want to fix housing - get people back to work.  

It works everywhere it is tried.  It'll work here too - but we'll never get there.  We can't even let a hospital expand their initial plans and hire more people and create a larger tax base here - we'll never get the other end of town back up and running.

"Every government intervention [in the marketplace] creates unintended consequences, which lead to calls for further government interventions." -Ludwig van Mises

Print Page | Close Window