Posted: 10:47 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, 2012

City cites temporary shelter for ex-cons

By Doug Page

Staff Writer


The city has cited what it called an “illegal rooming house” on Linden Avenue that is a temporary shelter for ex-convicts as they try to assimilate into society.

According to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News under the state Sunshine Law, Good Shepherd Ministries was cited for not having a rooming house permit, not having an occupancy permit and operating a rooming house in an area zoned to prohibit such use.

“We’re not going to throw anybody out on the street,” Kevin Powell, acting division manager of the Housing Inspection Division, said Friday. “I understand ex-offenders need a place to go, but it has to conform to the zoning.”

Good Shepherd Ministries is appealing the citations to the Housing Appeals Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Powell said those appeals for variances likely wouldn’t be heard by the boards until November at the earliest.

If the variances are not granted, the house would be closed down.

Dale Nieberding , executive director of Good Shepherd, said six of his 11 clients remain in the house in the 200 block of Linden. He bought the six-apartment building in 2005 to serve as temporary housing for ex-convicts. Over the past seven years, the house has been a home for 185 men, who pay $12.50 a week for housing, he said.

“I thought it was an apartment building when I bought it. Now they tell me it’s not. I’ve been doing this for seven years, now they say I can’t,” Nieberding said.

Powell said the area is zoned single-family residential, which means all the occupants must be related — whether it’s a rooming house or apartments.

“He’s been operating illegally for all those years,” Powell said. “It’s not our job to make people miserable or board up houses. It is our job when we see a potential dangerous situation to correct it.”

Powell said his inspectors were alerted by the Police Department of possible violations after police calls to the address.


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