New houses not for poor, residents told Public housing rumor dispelled

July 12, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

A rumor that 10 single-family houses proposed for Shipley Oaks in Linthicum would be designated for poor Baltimore families is just that, a rumor, a congressional aide, county officials and an engineer for the developer told about 100 Linthicum residents Wednesday.

"You can put to rest the idea that this will be for public housing in the future," said Dick Parrish, an engineer on the project. "It is not the case. It has never been the case."

The rumor spread after last month's issue of the Linthicum Improvement Association newsletter, the Monitor, criticized subsidized housing as "federal handouts." Residents quickly associated that with a proposal by Joseph Kirkpatrick to develop 4.95 acres off Benton Ave., near the Shipley-Linthicum Shopping Center.

When Kirkpatrick, owner of the shopping center, did not attend the association's meeting last month, residents became more suspicious.

Parrish, who represents Kirkpatrick, said residents should not be concerned. He said Kirkpatrick plans to build a house for himself and his wife, another for their son and a third for their daughter.

The proposal for the project was submitted to the county in 1994. If county officials approve, it could take up to a year before construction of the houses, which would cost $190,000 to $250,000, starts.

Parrish said Kirkpatrick, who grew up in Linthicum and still lives there, receives the association's newsletter and was concerned about the public housing comments.

Residents feared that the project might be designated for poor Baltimore families involved in Moving to Opportunity, a federal program using Section 8 rent subsidies to move 285 poor families from inner-city neighborhoods to more prosperous areas.

County delegates who represent the area and a representative of U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a 3rd District Democrat, explained federal housing programs at the meeting, and a county planning and code enforcement officer discussed the steps necessary before a project can begin.

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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