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Dayton City Commissioners are searching for more housing funds

Dayton houses
Kathryn Mobley
About $650,000 will go toward Dayton housing projects. Many in the community want Dayton city leaders to invest $2 million.

Next spring, a renewal of the city of Dayton income tax will be on the ballot. It's a one-quarter percent income tax.

This week, Dayton City Commissioners unanimously agreed to put the measure on the March 2024 ballot. Annually, it would generate about $15 million — paying for Preschool Promise, police and fire personnel as well as larger capital investments — including road projects, park improvements and vacant lot maintenance. About $650,000 will also go toward the city's housing plan.

Resident Joseph Abrams attended Wednesday evening's commission meeting. He supports the renewal — but wants more money for housing.

"I'm still really struck by the low priority of funding allocation," expressed Abrams. "Housing, it's our number one problem. It's our number one safety concern."

Diane Adkinson is an attorney with the Dayton Tenant Union. She urged the commissioners to invest about $2 million to address the city’s housing needs.

"Home ownership has become less affordable and many Daytonians are renters. They describe some of the issues they are dealing with mold, pest infestations, plumbing, Hvac issues and many other unsafe and unsanitary conditions," Adkinson explained. "Individual tenants are unable to convince landlords or property managers to improve conditions. tenants also fear retaliation for speaking up.”

Most of the commissioners agree more money is needed to address Dayton’s housing needs. During Wednesday’s meeting, City Manager Shelley Dickstein confirmed a program is ending, freeing up nearly $450,000 in Community Block Grants.

"I've already talked with the staff about optimizing housing because of the priority that you all have directed the administration on," Dickstein said.

This portion of the city’s income tax expires at the end of 2024. The renewal would extend it for eight years.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937)-952-9924