The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is Initiating Criminal Record Checks for Residents and Management in Section 8 Housing Facility.
The residents in the 88-unit Fort Steuben apartment building in Steubenville, Ohio say that it is teeming with criminal activity. This causes them to live in fear. The building’s doors are left unlocked, the security cameras are broken and security guards are nowhere to be found.
In June United States Representative Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, requested an investigation into the Fort Steuben Apartment building, which is a Section 8 federally subsidized public housing facility, at a meeting with Jefferson County and city officials. Following this meeting, they decided to conduct a physical inspection of the Fort Steuben Apartment facility located on North Fourth Street. The investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began in August; an occupancy and management review, including background records screening, is anticipated in the near future.
Cathy Davison, who is the city manager of Steubenville, Ohio, said that the inspection is a positive first step. Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority (JMHA) officials and the city have been meeting twice monthly to resolve the criminal activities that are occurring in the public housing units. Davison commends the housing authority and thanks Congressman Johnson for his assistance in the matter. Davison has agreed to assist with obtaining criminal record checks for potential Fort Steuben Apartment building’s tenants.
According to an article in the Herald Star, residents in the building have blamed the unsafe living conditions in large part to the fact that management does not screen tenant applicants for Ohio criminal checks or conduct background checks.
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