Mayor, Experts Offers Help To Residents Of Illegal Halfway Houses

May 2, 2014

Mayor Cranley, recovery experts offers help to residents living in illegal halfway houses

Plan gives facilities 90 days to comply with zoning code

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced a proposal Friday to ensure that tenants of illegal halfway houses in Price Hill have the support they need, and require the owner to make the facilities comply with the City's zoning code.

Respected members of the recovery community also are offering support services to the recovering alcohol and drug addicts living in the houses, consistent with best practices within the industry.

The experts include Neil F. Tilow, president and CEO of Talbert House; and David Logan and Ivan Faske of the Greater Cincinnati Recovery Resource Collaborative.

"We want to see people get the help they need," Mayor Cranley said.

Earlier this week, the City of Cincinnati requested an injunction to shut seven halfway houses operating illegally in Price Hill. The City also sought a temporary restraining order to prevent an eighth facility from opening on Rutledge Avenue.

The halfway houses are operated by New Foundations Transitional Living, which is owned by Ross Shively. The City became involved based on complaints from neighbors who live near the facilities.

The New Foundations facilities are located in areas zoned for single-family residential use. Transitional living facilities are not allowed in such zoning districts. Each of the halfway houses has between 12 and 15 people who live at the site.

Under the Mayor’s proposal:

  • New Foundations would have 90 days to present and implement a plan to bring its facilities into compliance with the zoning code;
  • The plan must include provisions to implement "best practices" used in the recovery sector to ensure a safe environment for clients; and
  • Include provisions of where displaced clients can live.

Two organizations, Talbert House and the Greater Cincinnati Recovery Resource Collaborative, have offered to help New Transitions provide structured programs to assist its clients with their recovery.

Also, the Collaborative will assist New Foundations with relocating any clients displaced due to the plan.

"The Collaborative will move up our regularly scheduled meeting so we can work to get anyone displaced from New Foundations relocated into new facilities," said Ivan Faske, the Collaborative’s chair.

The City of Cincinnati previously made an offer to Mr. Shively that would’ve given him 90 days to bring the facilities into compliance, but received no response.

"We went to court to enforce the law and ensure the safety of the clients living there," Mayor Cranley said. "We’re now expanding our original offer to include supportive services from respected members of the recovery community, like Neil Tilow and Dave Logan."

The Cincinnati Health Department has received complaints of bed bug and roach infestations at New Foundations' facilities.

For more information, contact Kevin Osborne, Director of Communications, at 513-516-1966.