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Brown And Obama Administration Use Housing Project To Campaign For Jobs Bill

On the site of an abandoned lumberyard, a big sleek new building is going up. It’ll be called the Commons at 3rd. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman says it’s a 100 unit facility that will offer studio apartments for people making less than $28,800 a year.

“This is the fifth one – and it’s working in our community. And this model that we have here in Columbus is being taken all over the country – in Atlanta, for example.”

This project was being built with funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which was part of President Obama’s first stimulus package passed in 2008. Democratic US Senator Sherrod Brown used the opportunity to campaign for President Obama’s jobs bill, which he expects to vote on in the next week.

“Doing housing right helps us deal with all kinds of other issues in terms of healthcare, in terms of homelessness, in terms of all of that.”

The jobs bill includes a program called Project Rebuild, which backers say would invest $15 billion to rehabilitate hundreds of thousands of properties in communities nationwide, creating 200 thousand jobs. But US Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan says it’ll do more than that – especially for responsible homeowners who are getting hurt when their neighbors lose their homes to foreclosure.

“What happens the next day? Your own house loses $5- to $10,000 in value as soon as that foreclosure sign goes up. That’s the cycle that we’re trying to reverse with Project Rebuild.”

The mayors of 23 Ohio cities signed a letter asking the state’s Republican-dominated congressional delegation to vote for the jobs bill. That includes the mayors of Ohio’s eight largest cities – two of whom were elected as independents.