Dayton eyes selling land in Wolf Creek for County Corp’s new homes effort

Neighborhood has many vacant lots after demolition; affordable new four-bedroom homes would target working families

County Corp wants to invest $10 million into new workforce housing in Dayton’s Wolf Creek neighborhood, and the city is considering selling land to support the project, as well as contributing some of its federal rescue funds.

“This is an important project because there is a need for quality, attainable housing,” said Todd Kinskey, Dayton’s director of planning, neighborhoods and development. “It will help strengthen and stabilize a neighborhood that is rich in geographic assets and advantages.”

Today, the Dayton City Commission is expected to have the first reading of legislation that authorizes the sale of 10 vacant residential properties in the Wolf Creek neighborhood.

The parcels are located on the 1300 block of West First Street; the 1500 blocks of West First and West Second streets; the 1700 block of West First; and the first block of North Broadway Street, according to city documents.

The city proposes selling the parcels for less than $8,250, a price that it says was based on the value of similarly situated vacant land.

The properties will be used by County Corp for its Wolf Creek Homes project, which will create 28 new detached, single-family rental homes. The new homes will be constructed on infill sites, reusing vacant and abandoned land.

The city acquired the properties primarily through a demolition program that eliminated hundreds of blighted properties.

The new two-story homes are expected to have about 1,660 square feet of space, with four bedrooms and two baths. The new homes will be occupied by working families, said Steve Naas, president of County Corp.

The project is a workforce housing development that will use low-income housing tax credits, which require the units to remain affordable housing under County Corp’s management for 30 years, says a memo from Kinskey.

“It will provide much-needed, high-quality affordable housing options,” he told this newspaper.

Wolf Creek has changed a lot in the last five years, said Gerald Whitaker, 50, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than two and a half decades. The Wolf Creek neighborhood stretches from West Third Street north to the actual creek, and from Edwin Moses Boulevard west to James H. McGee.

The neighborhood is pretty nice and peaceful and it no longer has problems with prostitution, drugs and other nuisance activities like it once did, Whitaker said.

“It’s come a long way,” he said. “I think it’s going to be OK.”

Wolf Creek still has blighted homes, but some nuisance properties have been torn down, including structures on the 1500 block of West Second Street, said Whitaker, who lives on the street.

Whitaker said he thinks new rental homes could be a good addition to the neighborhood, which has an attractive location near downtown, the river, the Wright Dunbar historic district and other local historic sites.

The housing project “sounds pretty good, but you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out until it happens,” he said. “I think it could bring more people to the neighborhood.”

Wolf Creek has many vacant lots but it is good place to live because it is quiet and serene, said Horace Stoltz, 75, who has lived on the 1500 block of West Second Street for 11 years.

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