The Latest on the Anna Louise Inn

May 13, 2013

Throughout our two years of litigation regarding the Anna Louise InnSM, we have remained focused on our mission of securing safe and affordable housing for women, ensuring stability for our Off the StreetsSM program and continuing to operate the most successful early childhood education program in the city.

With all that in mind, we want to share with you that we have entered into a purchase agreement with Western & Southern, which will also settle the court cases.  Although we are not permitted to discuss details of the settlement, we can tell you that we will have a beautiful new site for the Anna Louise Inn funded through various sources.

This is good for our residents, good for our programs and good for the community.

The resolution came about for several reasons:

  1. Our tax credits through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which will provide the majority of funding for the current site, were due to expire at the end of the year and we would have lost the opportunity to fulfill our mission because they can’t be awarded if there is litigation in process.  This settlement, which will settle the court cases, gives us the best opportunity to retain the tax credit funding for a wonderful new home for our residents. 
  2. We learned recently that a piece of property has become available.  Rather than move our residents into an existing building that may or may not be configured the way we need it to be, now our residents will move into a brand new space with larger living areas and amenities that would not have been possible even in a renovated Anna Louise InnSM.
  3. The needed resources, time and energy to this litigation has diverted focus from our other successful programs: early childhood education and Off the StreetsSM, important assets to this community.  This settlement and purchase agreement allow us to dedicate ourselves to our mission of serving women and children.

We want to thank the multitudes who have encouraged us these past two years.  You recognized the need for safe and affordable housing in Cincinnati, and you fought hard to protect access for our current residents and future residents. Thankfully, we are able to preserve that with this settlement. 

We will keep you posted about our progress as we move forward. Thank you again. 

To read a copy of the news release going out today, click here.

May 7, 2013

The hearing in front of Judge Nadel that was supposed to begin tomorrow, May 8th, has been continued, so if you were planning on being there, please know not to go to the courthouse.

April 18, 2013

On April 2, Judge Nadel granted Western & Southern its request to present additional evidence in its appeal of the City’s decision to approve the Anna Louise Inn as a conditional use permit.  We go back before Judge Nadel on May 8th to hear that additional evidence.  The initial hearing with Judge Nadel from December 2011 and the zoning issues have now been consolidated, so Judge Nadel will determine if our zoning is correct as an integrated use permit.

April 7, 2013

Dan Horn gives a thorough review in The Cincinnati Enquirer of the gender issue around the Inn and makes it clear that we have followed a correct process for receiving funding.  Read his article to learn more.

April 2, 2013

After the ruling from the First District Court of Appeals, Western & Southern filed a motion to present additional evidence in its appeal of the City’s decision to approve the Anna Louise Inn as a conditional use permit.  We went before Judge Nadel today and he granted the Western & Southern request. 

March 28, 2013

We are aware that letters have been sent and a suit has been filed with the city as part of Western & Southern’s efforts to stall our renovation of the Anna Louise Inn.  While this issue is currently between other parties, we understand that there is an implication that we have done something wrong.  We haven’t.  For 183 years, Cincinnati Union Bethel has operated in Cincinnati as an upstanding organization trying to improve lives and adding value to our community.  The Anna Louise Inn project has been clearly articulated at every level of government as affordable housing for women.  This letter campaign and lawsuit are more attempts to delay the Anna Louise Inn project.

March 21, 2013

We learned that the First District Court of Appeals denied our reconsideration about the issue of evidence. 

March 12, 2013

After the ruling from the First District Court of Appeals, Western & Southern filed a motion to present additional evidence; therefore we have a hearing in front of Judge Nadel on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.  In addition, we have filed a reconsideration with the First District Court of Appeals about the issue of evidence.  We believe there should not have been more evidence presented than was presented to the Zoning Board in the initial case, since the initial case was about the Zoning Board ruling.  The First District Court of Appeals did not address this issue in their ruling in February.

February 8, 2013

Today, the First District Court of Appeals issued a decision in our appeal of the lower court’s decision in the case filed by Western & Southern against the Anna Louise Inn and the City of Cincinnati.  We strongly believe this is a favorable ruling for us.  We will be consulting with our attorneys about the details and next steps.

For more information about the decisions, you may read them and summaries on the First District Court of Appeals’ website, www.hamilton-co.org/appealscourt/.  Our cases are listed three times as State of Ohio, ex rel., 506 Phelps Holdings, LLC, et al. vs. Amit B. Ghosh, P.E. Chief Building Official of Cincinnati, et al.

November 15, 2012

On November 15th, the Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the Historic Conservation Board’s approval of our conditional use permit.  According to CityBeat, Western & Southern said in a statement that it is planning to appeal the ruling.  Here is an article from CityBeat with more details.

October 30, 2012

We went before the First District Court of Appeals this morning.  This is to appeal Judge Nadel’s decision.   Each side was allowed to present for 15 minutes because the panel already has the paperwork from the case.  We should hear a decision in 30 to 45 days.

October 10, 2012

There was so much misinformation in the editorial from John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern, on September 27th that we have clarified some of the costs and facts around the Anna Louise Inn renovation project.

October 7, 2012

The Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board published an editorial this morning calling for an end of Western & Southern’s attack against the Anna Louise Inn.

October 4, 2012

Steve MacConnell responded to John Barrett in an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

September 28, 2012

Despite their claims that they only want to make sure we comply with zoning laws – and we do - Western & Southern has filed an appeal to the Historic Conservation Board’s upholding of our conditional use permit.

September 27, 2012

John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern, had an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer today.  This is taken from our enewsletter:

Dear Supporters,

Many of you have by now seen the editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer today from John Barrett.  We were, of course, disappointed to see so much misinformation and untruth masked as facts.  They clearly want to discredit our organization, our renovation project, and our belief in affordable housing.

I don’t want to counter each point in the piece – although I could go line by line to point out the absurdities.  But I do want to address a few of the more glaring mistruths.

First of all, the Anna Louise Inn project is a worthwhile project for the city both financially and morally.  We need affordable housing in Cincinnati, and renovating the Inn is the right thing to do.  More importantly, the Anna Louise Inn project is a fully vetted, economically sound project that received a number one ranking from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.  The Anna Louise Inn renovation project budget – at $13 million – is in line with or lower than average permanent supportive housing projects.

The Anna Louise Inn project is a good investment for the community.  Mr. Barrett’s article tried hard to convince readers that we are wasting taxpayer dollars when that is absolutely not true.  The tax credits we received are an investment vehicle that local companies invest in to lower their taxes.  Western & Southern and John Barrett know how tax credits work because they have used them too – both as a developer and an investor.  Western & Southern has lowered their own corporate tax bill by investing in them.  Similar tax credits have been awarded to a number of local, worthwhile projects that have helped Cincinnati renovate and develop a number of buildings.

Third, we have not abandoned our mission at any time in 103 years.  Years ago, Western & Southern offered $1.8 million for the building, and our board considered it and decided to turn them down and continue to serve women in Lytle Park.  When the Anna Louise Inn opened in 1909, it provided safe and affordable housing for women.  We still do that today.  Our residents pay rent.  A mere 25 rooms at the Inn are dedicated to the Off the Streets program, which helps women involved in prostitution move toward safety, recovery and community reintegration.  Their rooms also provide safe and affordable housing for them.

We continue to fight for our residents.  And we continue to do so because they have told us they want to stay where they are.  We own the Anna Louise Inn, and as property owners, we plan to serve our residents and continue as good neighbors.

What can you do?  If you don’t already have a bumper sticker, yard sign, or button, we have plenty.  You may also make your voice heard by commenting on the article in the Enquirer.

Thank you.

Steve MacConnell
President and CEO

September 26, 2012

There are two great articles in CityBeat about the Anna Louise Inn, Danny Cross’s What’s Yours is Mine and German Lopez’s W&S: A Bully by Any Other Name.

The bulk of the Opinion page was dedicated to the Anna Louise Inn today.  A community member wrote about our history – thank you!

September 24, 2012

We have, along with the city, appealed Judge Nadel’s decision, and this appeal will be argued before the First District Court of Appeals on October 30th.

September 20, 2012

The Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the Historic Conservation Board’s approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness for the Anna Louise Inn.  Pursuant to Judge Nadel’s decision, we have now successfully been through the zoning process.  However, the issue is still not over.

“We certainly hope that Western & Southern does not appeal further, ” says Steve MacConnell, president & CEO of CUB, “but rather find in their hearts to allow us to move forward and choose to live as good neighbors with the Anna Louise Inn.”

September 14, 2012

Thank you to everyone who came out to the ice cream social today in Lytle Park.  The gelato from Dojo Gelato was yummy – who tried the jalapeno?!  Guest enjoyed tours of the Anna Louise Inn and music from Burning Caravan.

September 12, 2012

Unfortunately, Western & Southern filed an appeal to the Historic Conservation Board’s decision to approve (once again) Anna Louise Inn’s Certificate of Appropriateness for our renovation project.  There will be a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on Thursday, September 20th, at 9 a.m.  We are first on the agenda and the public is welcome to attend.  They meet at the Business Development & Permit Office at 3300 Central Parkway.

August 29, 2012

Read Mark Curnutte’s article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about the Historic Conservation Board’s decision, or read Danny Cross’s article from CityBeat.

August 27, 2012

Today, the Historic Conservation Board approved Cincinnati Union Bethel’s conditional use application for the Anna Louise Inn.  Cincinnati Union Bethel went before the Historic Conservation Board for a second time as part of the zoning process for their planned renovation of the Anna Louise Inn, which provides safe and affordable housing for women.  In May 2012, Judge Nadel’s ruling in the lawsuit filed by Western & Southern against the Anna Louise Inn and the City of Cincinnati remanded all matters back through the City’s zoning process.

“We are very pleased,” says Stephen T. MacConnell, president and CEO of Cincinnati Union Bethel, “and we are so appreciative of our supporters.  So many neighbors came to speak on our behalf – that was wonderful and a special reminder how much the Anna Louise Inn is part of the Lytle Park District fabric of life.  We are also pleased that this ruling puts to rest whether we are zoned properly or not, and we may now proceed with our planned renovations.  That is a win-win for everyone in Cincinnati.”

Representatives of Western & Southern have said throughout the legal proceedings that they are just interested in whether the Anna Louise Inn is zoned properly.

Cincinnati Union Bethel wants to convert the dormitory-style rooms of the Anna Louise Inn into efficiencies so that each resident has her own bathroom and kitchen.

August 23, 2012

Because of Judge Nadel’s ruling, we have another hearing in front of the Historic Conservation Board on Monday, August 27th, at 3 p.m., at Centennial Plaza Two (directly behind City Hall), 805 Central Ave., 7th floor.  We hope you can come and show your support for the Anna Louise Inn.

This is a copy of the staff report from the Historic Conservation Board, which is favorable.

August 15, 2012

Join us for an ice cream social in Lytle Park on Friday, September 14, from 4:30-6 p.m., hosted by the Friends of Anna Louise Inn.  Enjoy Dojo Gelato and music from Burning Caravan (the same group as last year).  Tours of the Anna Louise Inn will be available for the first hour.  We hope you can join us!

Christ Church Cathedral on Fourth Street is the rain location.

August 15, 2012

Danny Cross with CityBeat wrote a very thorough and detailed article about the Anna Louise Inn and Western & Southern situation.  It is worth reading.

July 25, 2012

The president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance has issued a statement regarding the Anna Louise Inn:

The Anna Louise Inn provides valuable and much needed services to women in need of affordable, safe housing. The National Fair Housing Alliance is watching with concern the efforts of the Inn to stay in its downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, location in the face of neighbor opposition. The National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States dedicated to ending housing discrimination.

The National Fair Housing Alliance, HOME of Cincinnati, and its members nationwide work hard to eliminate the illegal discrimination that still exists today. It is a basic tenet of the federal Fair Housing Act that neighbors cannot prevent someone from living in a neighborhood because of discriminatory prejudice and stereotypes. The fair housing laws do not simply apply to landlords and real estate agents; they also apply to neighbors who try to drive someone out of their home through harassment, intimidation, or coercion.

In addition, the City of Cincinnati has a duty to under the federal Fair Housing Act to affirmatively further fair housing, which involves assessing barriers to housing choice and taking actions to counteract any barriers. Nationally, downtowns are being redeveloped as more people realize the benefits of living an urban life style; but such redevelopment efforts should not be accomplished to the detriment of integrated, mixed-income neighborhoods. Cincinnati has an obligation to analyze potential barriers in this case and to take action to work to ensure inclusion in its urban redevelopment efforts.

The National Fair Housing Alliance urges Western & Southern to cease its opposition to the Anna Louise Inn and become a welcoming good neighbor who values neighborhood diversity.

July 9, 2012

Be sure to read this excellent article from Ariel Miller in “Interchange” about the Anna Louise Inn.

June 27, 2012

Here is an excerpt from Kevin LeMaster’s “Back at square one, Anna Louise Inn gets first approval,” from Building Cincinnati (buildingcincinnati.com):

Cincinnati’s Historic Conservation Board on Monday voted to approve a staff report endorsing a certificate of appropriateness (COA) for Cincinnati Union Bethel’s renovation and expansion of the Anna Louise Inn, which provides affordable, permanent supportive housing for women in Downtown’s Lytle Park Historic District.

The approval, a clarification of a COA issued last year, is the first step made necessary following a lawsuit settled by Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel, who remanded the case back to square one after finding that a Zoning Board of Appeals decision that the building was a conforming use was incorrect.

“I don’t regard this case as having been settled,” said Tim Burke, attorney for Cincinnati Union Bethel. “It has been decided by Judge Nadel.”

Additionally, Nadel said that the building permit and the COA had been issued out of sequence, and that the COA should have included conditions of the approval – that the building’s rooftop mechanicals be moved north, and that Cincinnati Union Bethel receive approval from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office for the new aluminum clad wood windows.

Both of those conditions have since been met, but the nonprofit will have to appear before the board in the future to have the building classified as a conditional use as a special assistance shelter.

“It will involve a number of witnesses,” Burke said. “It will probably be quite a long hearing.”

Cincinnati Union Bethel wants to spend $13 million to expand the building’s fifth floor, reduce the number of affordable units for women from 160 to 85, and add kitchens and restrooms to each apartment.

Burke said that the development probably wouldn’t happen without the COA. The project risks losing $2.6 million in state historic tax credits if construction doesn’t begin soon.

May 4, 2012

Today, Judge Norbert Nadel issued a ruling opposing Cincinnati Union Bethel’s position in the case filed by Western & Southern against the Anna Louise Inn and the City of Cincinnati.  This means that it remands all matters back through the City’s zoning process.

While we respect the judicial process, we are disappointed with Judge Nadel’s ruling today.  This simply means that the renovation of the historic Anna Louise Inn will be delayed, not abandoned.  Our mission and service to women and the community has been continuous in this location for over 100 years.  We firmly believe we have an obligation to upgrade the inside of the building in order to meet the needs of women today for safe, affordable housing.

On behalf of our current residents and the women we have served for more than 100 years, we are resolved to complete the interior renovation of our building and will continue to take the legal steps necessary to make this happen.

We are very appreciative of the outpouring of community support for our women and the need for safe and affordable housing in our community.  The response from our neighbors, supporters and organizations speaks volumes about what this community values, and we couldn’t be more gratified.  For over 100 years, the Inn has been a safe haven for women; we know that the community recognizes that the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn is an investment in self-sufficiency for women and the vibrancy and diversity of downtown.  We are grateful for all the support we have received and will continue to need.

April 30, 2012

The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati have written a letter of support.

March 28, 2012

Today, Judge Norbert Nadel heard final arguments from Cincinnati Union Bethel, the City of Cincinnati, and Western & Southern in the lawsuit filed by Western & Southern to stop the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn. Judge Nadel is now taking the information under advisement and will make a ruling in the near future.

Thank you to our many supporters, especially those who could come to court today. We are very appreciative of the outpouring of community support for our women and the need for affordable housing in our community. For over 100 years the Anna Louise Inn has been a safe haven for women; we know now that the community recognizes that the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn is an investment in the vibrancy and diversity of downtown and wants us to stay to continue our legacy of meeting the needs of women.

We will keep you updated through our website and social media when Judge Nadel makes a ruling (be sure to “like” us on Facebook).

March 15, 2012

Here is an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about the federal lawsuit residents of the Anna Louise Inn filed:

The Anna Louise Inn won a court battle Wednesday when a judge ruled it could continue its fight against Western & Southern Financial Group.

The inn’s residents claim Western & Southern has violated their rights under fair housing laws by mounting a campaign against a planned $13 million renovation of the inn. They say the company wants to shut down the inn, which houses poor single women, to make room for a high-end redevelopment project. The residents accuse the company of bullying them and trying to delay the project until the tax credits needed to pay for the renovation expire.

The company sought to throw out the residents’ federal lawsuit, but Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz ruled the case could go forward. She said a court could infer that the company is in position to disrupt the residents’ “federally-protected rights.” No trial date has been set.

March 1, 2012

Judge Nadel has decided to hear closing arguments on March 28, 2012, at 1 p.m. in Room 560 at the Hamilton County Courthouse.  The closing arguments will relate to the December hearing.  We hope everyone can come and show your support for the Anna Louise Inn!

December 19, 2011

The Church of the Redeemer has written a letter of support for the Anna Louise Inn after meeting with representatives from Western & Southern and Cincinnati Union Bethel.  St. John United Church of Christ of Bellevue, Kentucky has also written a letter of support.  Thank you!

December 15, 2011

We went before Judge Nadel at 10 a.m., in Room 560 in the Hamilton County Courthouse.  Both sides had one witness regarding zoning.  Judge Nadel asked that both sides submit what is called Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law by December 28, 2011.  Essentially each side must state the facts of their side and the conclusions based on those facts.  Judge Nadel will consider those.  Therefore, we expect a decision in early 2012.

Thank you to the many supporters who came to the courtroom today.  We had a packed house!  We can’t thank you enough for taking time in your busy schedules to come downtown.  Your presence made it clear that the community supports housing for women and property rights.  Thank you!

December 14, 2011

The Cincinnati Preservation Association has written a letter of support for the Anna Louise Inn.

December 1, 2011

The MARCC newsletter, The Common Path, has an article about the Anna Louise Inn in it.  Check it out here.

November 12, 2011

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, the Episcopal Church, passed a resolution supporting the Anna Louise Inn at their annual convention in Dayton.

Ann, Mary Carol and Brittany at the Episcopal Convention

November 11, 2011

West Chester Presbyterian Church has voiced its support for the Anna Louise Inn, which is consistent with the motion approved by the Presbytery on September 13, 2011.

October 13, 2011

We have learned that we go back to Judge Nadel’s courtroom on Thursday, December 15th for trial.  Our struggle against Western & Southern is definitely not over!  The ruling from the Zoning Board of Appeals certainly helps, but we are still in the midst of this lawsuit.

October 12, 2011

Christ Church Cathedral has been so good to the women at the Anna Louise Inn in so many ways, including their Tuesday night dinners for needy community members.  The Christ Church vestry passed this resolution by a unanimous vote.

September 19, 2011

The Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the issuance of the permit to renovate the Anna Louise Inn and upheld the Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Conservation Board.  Steve MacConnell says, “We’re happy with their decision and believe they fully and correctly made the right decision.”

September 16, 2011

Sixteen residents of Cincinnati Union Bethel’s Anna Louise Inn sued Western & Southern Financial Group in U.S. District Court this morning.  The residents state that their rights under the Federal Fair Housing Act are being violated by the campaign of Western & Southern to force them to leave the Lytle Park neighborhood; Western & Southern has stated that the women living there is “incompatible” in the Lytle Park district.

The lawsuit itemizes some of the tactics used by Western & Southern: “vilifying the female residents of the Anna Louise Inn, photographing residents without their permission, falsely accusing residents of the Anna Louise Inn of engaging in criminal activity and other ‘inappropriate behavior’ in the neighborhood.”  The suit says that Western & Southern has “encouraged business entities and community organizations to oppose the Financing Subsidy of the Inn on the grounds that Anna Louise Inn is detrimental to the well being and development of downtown Cincinnati” and the company has “engaged in frivolous challenges to the approval by the Historic Review Board and has frivolously challenged the building permit for these renovations.”  They have threatened to block charitable contributions to community organizations if the Anna Louise Inn remains at its present site.

Robert Newman of Newman & Meeks, the attorney for the plaintiffs, says, “The Anna Louise Inn has been in its only location in Lytle Park for 102 years and its residents do not want to move.  They regard the Anna Louise Inn as their home.  This is about protecting their rights.”

Bev Chapman, one of the plaintiffs, says, “This is my home and I’ll do whatever I can to save it.  I have friends here.  This place was a godsend for me.”

The residents are seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

September 13, 2011

The Presbytery of Cincinnati unanimously passed a letter of support for the Anna Louise Inn their meeting today.  We also received a letter of support from the Unitarian Universalist Council of Greater Cincinnati.  Thank you for your support!

September 8, 2011

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel has denied our request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Western & Southern to stop the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn.

“While we are disappointed by the procedural decision,” says Steve MacConnell, president & CEO of Cincinnati Union Bethel, “We have every confidence as the case moves forward that we will prevail on the merits of our case.”

The case is now set for a pre-trial conference on September 20th.

August 25, 2011

The ice cream social was so fun – perfect weather, perfect gelato, and perfect guests!  Thanks to everyone who came!

Up to August 25 – Ice Cream Social

Lytle Park, 4:30 p.m.
No need to RSVP – just come by to enjoy some Dojo Gelato and say hi to friends or meet your neighbors.  We’ll have live music too!  We hope you can join us!

August 10, 2011

The motion to dismiss went before Judge Nadel, who is taking it under advisment.  Our lawyers were wonderful, and the courtroom was full of supporters wearing stickers that said, “I support the Anna Louise Inn.”

Before the motion to dismiss, the Urban Pastors of the Presbytery of Cincinnati in cooperation with the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC) and other concerned faith leaders hosted a prayer vigil on the courthouse steps.  Hundreds of people came to show their support, and Vice-Mayor Roxanne Qualls spoke to the crowd about how she lived in the Lytle Park district for four years and became friends with residents of the Anna Louise Inn.

August 8, 2011

We have received a letter of support from the Cincinnati Health Network, Inc.  The Mobile Medical Van, a collaborative project of the Cincinnati Health Network, the Cincinnati Health Department and UC’s Department of Family and Community Medicine provides medical care for the residents of the Anna Louise Inn every week.  They have been an invaluable resource to our residents.

August 3, 2011

We thank the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless for their letter of support.  We appreciate the kind words about the Inn and its effect on women in our community.

August 1, 2011

The City Gospel Mission has submitted a letter of support for the Anna Louise Inn renovation.  The Cincinnati National Organization for Women (NOW) hosted us as a guest at their monthly meeting and presented a letter of support.

July 28, 2011

The Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus has pledged their support to the Anna Louise Inn with this letter.

July 26, 2011

The Woman’s City Club Board voted to support the Anna Louise Inn with this statement:

The Woman’s City Club lends it support to the Anna Louise Inn in its fight against Western & Southern Life who would deny the Inn’s rights to renovate.

We applaud the Inn’s historic mission of providing safe and affordable housing for women and families as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

The Anna Louise Inn is a prized city asset. Identified as a top priority in the City’s Homeless to Homes Plan, it has offered refuge and rehabilitation for poor single women since 1909, and it has provided permanent supportive housing for families and children since 1994. The renovation of its aging facility not only ensures continued quality housing for its residents; it serves economic development in the Lytle Park district. It is good for the city, and it is good for our community.

Jeanne Nightingale, President Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati
Carole Cutter-Hawkins, Vice President for Civic Action

July 6, 2011

The City of Cincinnati issued the necessary building permits for the much needed renovation of the Anna Louise Inn.  Were it not for the current lawsuit, we would be ready to proceed.

In addition to ensuring quality housing for our residents, the renovation is good for economic development with an estimated 150+ jobs!

June 27, 2011

The Historic Conservation Board has approved the Anna Louise Inn renovation plans.

We have learned that the motion to dismiss that we filed is scheduled to be heard on August 10th, at 11 a.m. before Judge Nadel.  We will let you know if this date changes.

June 23, 2011

Response to Former Sen. George Voinovich

Former Sen. Voinovich, we respect your history and what you have done for the community, but you are clearly being deceived by John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern.

First of all, as a former politician, you understand how tax credits work.  The federal government puts aside money specifically for permanent supportive housing.  If we don’t use the tax credits, they aren’t going to be used to keep our pools open or fix the streets.  They will go to another city toward a permanent supportive housing project.

Barrett knows this because Western & Southern has used tax credits in the past for building projects.  Ironic that the tax credits weren’t a waste of taxpayer funds when Western & Southern was building Brackett Village, but they are now when we want to renovate a beautiful building, strengthening the neighborhood and the city?  The renovation project itself will put people to work; the women who live in the building work and support the tax base.

A frivolous lawsuit against the city is a waste of taxpayer money.

We’re not sure how we can have inconsistent social services when we have been doing the same thing – providing safe and affordable housing for women for over 100 years.  And as much as the Western & Southern PR machine likes to throw around the word prostitute, understand this: the women we serve in the Off the Streets program are women on the path of recovery and we provide safe and affordable housing for them.  That is not a change.  It’s simply an uneducated and vicious attack on our women.

You also mention a homeless shelter for men, women, and children.  This dates back to 1994 when, at the City’s request, a separate part of our building was rehabbed to provide transitional housing for homeless families.  Most often, these are families with single mothers; however, when dad was part of the family, we offered a safe space for the family to stay together.  This would hardly be considered a new program.  If you rent the apartment above your garage, it doesn’t change the fact that your house is a home for your wife and you, does it?  No, it doesn’t, anymore than providing space for the Family Living Center changed the mission of the Anna Louise Inn.

It’s curious that you mention a fair market value.  Our long history of offers from Western & Southern is well below fair market value.  If your house has a market value of $120,000, offering $15,000 is not a fair price.  And Western & Southern cut off negotiations with us – until we had taken a different avenue and received the tax credits.  At that point, the building was no longer for sale.

Cincinnatians deserve the truth.  Truth: we have sat down with Western & Southern in an effort to be good neighbors, only to be insulted.  Truth: if a company is trying to steal a building, it’s a misuse of power.  Truth: Western & Southern doesn’t want a win-win; they want our building.

We’re willing to share the truth with you and your fellow board members.  If you truly care about women in Cincinnati, we invite you to visit the Anna Louise Inn with us.

June 21, 2011

The Board of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati sent a letter of support to Cincinnati City Council and the City Manager in January as one of the first groups to publicly support the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn.  You may read a copy here.

June 14, 2011

We have asked that the unfounded lawsuit against us be dismissed.  You can read the Cincinnati Enquirer article about it here.

The League of Women Voters has voiced their support for the Anna Louise Inn renovation.  Read more here.

A recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati wrote about having John Barrett of Western & Southern, the one orchestrating the attack against the Anna Louise Inn, as the keynote speaker at UC’s graduation.  Read more here.

June 12, 2011

There were two articles in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday, June 12, about the Anna Louise Inn.

The first is an editorial from our Board Chair, Charley Milton:

The other is a Q&A with reporter Jane Prendergast:

June 9, 2011

Unfortunately, John Barrett, Chair and CEO of Western & Southern, has not seen the error of his ways and withdrawn the lawsuit against the City of Cincinnati and the Anna Louise Inn.  Therefore, we have retained legal counsel in order to defend our own property and the rights of our residents.

Barrett believes our neighbors should have a say in whether we renovate our building; they have.  Many of our neighbors wrote letters of support so that we could receive the tax credits, and the renovation of the Anna Louise Inn was the number one project ranked by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.  But Barrett chooses to ignore these facts.  One wonders what the Western & Southern Board of Directors thinks of this attack on a project that has a range of support from the Lytle Park area.

We believe our clients should have a say.  This is what one resident wrote to us after reading about the lawsuit in the newspaper:

“Hear, Hear!” I am so proud to be a resident of the Anna Louise Inn since March 2006.  It was a safe, affordable place to find for my housing needs when I had no place to turn, with my specific background.

I had sacrificed my career goals as a single parent to raise my daughter in a good neighborhood (Forest Park in my mother’s home) and do my best to give her a good start to be educated, an independent young lady, who would have a good work ethic.  I was able to succeed because she has her own entrepreneur business.

Then I found myself at the end of that 20 year period trying to adjust back to my career goals at the age of 55.  Anna Louise Inn was a Godsend that has met my needs.  My health issues have interfered with my ability to earn the income that my bachelor’s degree, from Xavier University 1978, should afford me.  So by living at the Inn, I have been able to maintain my financial independence and dignity, which in pursuit of my career goals.  These economic times have put me and thousands of my generation, in a bad position of type of work availability, in our chosen fields and too young to quit working.

So in reading the Cincinnati Enquirer article, it reaffirms to me the continual challenge of Corporate America pushing the average citizen (especially the poor) around makes me feel less stressful that I have a David (Cincinnati Union Bethel) on my side.  This is one Anna Louise Inn resident who appreciates all the fighting you are doing.  I pray it ends in success for many.

~Arleshia

7 Responses to “The Latest on the Anna Louise Inn”

  1. [...] 6http://www.cinunionbethel.org/index.php/the-latest-on-the-anna-louise-inn [...]

  2. [...] the safe house will continue to serve women and families in its new location, many view the victory of the insurance company over a community touchstone as [...]

  3. [...] the safe house will continue to serve women and families in its new location, many view the victory of the insurance company over a community touchstone as [...]

  4. [...] the safe house will continue to serve women and families in its new location, many view the victory of the insurance company over a community touchstone as [...]

  5. [...] the safe house will continue to serve women and families in its new location, many view the victory of the insurance company over a community touchstone as [...]

Words of Wisdom

25% of employed women work part-time, and women continue to earn less than men, on average, 79¢ on the dollar.

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