Akron, Ohio developer wants tax credits to build apartment building for refugees

What!  Has Akron run out of American needy people?

This is a story from last week (thanks to ‘Pungentpeppers’) that I am just getting around to posting.

Money! Money! Your money!  Everyone is getting in on the taxpayer-funded action!

From Ohio.com:

Local developer Joel Testa, whose company recently opened an apartment building catering to the homeless and veterans, hopes to serve another population in Akron’s North Hill: refugees.

Testa is proposing a 50-unit townhouse development that would be built across from Summa St. Thomas Hospital, which has been providing primary health care since the hospital’s emergency room closed, including to the refugees in the area.

Akron Councilman Hurley apparently approves—says refugees won’t have to walk far (for their medical care?). Photo: http://www.akroncitycouncil.org/Find_your_Councilperson/entry/James_Hurley/


Councilman Jim Hurley, who represents Ward 2 that includes North Hill, said the location of the housing is ideal to cater to the refugees in the area, many who walk wherever they need to go.

“They would not have to walk far,” he said.

Testa said the development will be aimed at low-to moderate-income people, with the aim of partnering with local agencies that can help acclimate them to the community so they “earn enough so that they have to move out.” He said the rent for the townhouses would range from $590 to $775 a month.

The developer wants to tap into the International Institute’s ‘resources’ which is also mostly money from taxpayers (I presume they would pay rent to use the community space for classes etc.):

Testa said he also is seeking support for the project from the International Institute, which is located in North Hill and provides many services to refugees. The institute’s board will vote on his request this month.

“Our goal is to have the International Institute provide classes and training out of our community space,” Testa said.

Very long-time readers may remember that Akron’s International Institute got into some trouble way back in 2008 for placing refugees in slum apartments (a common practice, btw, and one of the first things we noticed where I live in 2007).   Here is our post on the slum apartment issue in Akron.

The International Institute of Akron (which brings 500 refugees a year to Akron, a preferred community) is an “affiliate” of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (one of the big nine contractors funded by the federal government to resettle refugees***).  USCRI is 99% funded by you.

See the International Institute of Akron’s most recent Form 990.  On page 9 we learn that they took in $2.5 million (I am rounding the numbers) in that most recent year.  $1.7 million is from government grants, another almost $500,000 was income from translation services and immigrant counseling (probably paid by other government agencies to the II).  What is that, roughly 88% funded with tax dollars?  On page 10 we learned that they paid out more than a $1 million in salaries/benefits/payroll etc.

So if Akron doesn’t have enough housing for all of its poor people and refugees, maybe a plan could be to reduce the number of refugees being resettled there?  Just saying!

*** For all of our new readers, here are the nine big federal refugee contractors:


Spread the love

Leave a Reply