On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Project Censored’s top 25 stories for 2010 (2009)
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Posted by Justin Jeffre
Below is a report from the executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, Josh Spring. He met with the tenants and saw firsthand how they were forced to live in unsafe squalor. The slumlords appear to be ready to demolish the building but they failed to properly communicate with their tenants.
Leaking raw sewage, hanging live-wires, falling ceilings, unable to cook for months, busted windows, unsafe balconies, flooding basement, month without water, unsecure doors: these are just some of the living-conditions different Tenants at 4354 West 8th Street have had to face. This building has been owned by Thiemann Realtors for at least 27 years. Tenants report that over the last number of years Steve Thiemann, has not maintained the building and has allowed it to fall into unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Many Tenants have worked very hard to maintain the property as much as they can without the assistance of their landlord. Now, after years of neglect, Thiemann Realtors has decided to kick out every household and create a plan for the entire property to be demolished. This decision has not only jeopardized the stability of dozens of households living with hand-to-mouth paychecks or on a fixed income, it also means that as a community we will have about 40 less affordable homes- especially in a neighborhood like Price Hill that has already been decimated by housing loss- this is a terrible outcome.
Thiemann Realtors issued 30-day notices to leave the premises to Tenants, without any conversation or explanation. This caused great fear among Tenants. Because Thiemann Realtors did not properly communicate with Tenants, Tenants had no idea that they may be eligible for assistance with moving costs; as a result many began to spend their money paying for application fees to new landlords and saving their money for deposits for new apartments. As a result many did not also have enough money for that month’s rent. Tenants repeatedly requested that Steve Thiemann meet with the group to work out a solution. Instead he filed evictions. Tenants reported paying their rent on time every month, some for many years, and the thanks Thiemann Realtors show is to allow the building to fall apart and to evict them.
The building still has families with children, couples working to get by and elderly retired people on fixed incomes. Some people have lived in their homes for less than a year, others have been there for over 25 years. Thiemann Realtors does a lot of business in the Cincinnati area and other businesses should know how Thiemann Realtors has treated their Tenants: creating unsafe living conditions, unwilling to have a professional humane meeting with the Tenant group, creating fear and filing mass evictions- jeopardizing the housing of children, elderly people, and families; planning to tear down what was for decades a productive property.
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