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Beline Obeid

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To the Editor:

On May 22, I attended the Grosse Pointe Farms City Council hearing on the temporary use of the Mack-Moross property owned by the city.

One of the residents said that if senior housing were to be the eventual use of that site, there was a good chance that no Farms residents would live there if people from Detroit, Harper Woods and St. Clair Shores filled it up.

This misinformation seemed to me to be irresponsible, so I addressed the council, saying that if Grosse Pointe Farms built senior housing using no federal funds, Grosse Pointe Farms could determine who was to live there. Council member Louis Theros interrupted me, saying, "That's not true."

As a member of the council in the City of Grosse Pointe, I was appointed to a task force to study the feasibility of using the school board office building site (if the school board chose to sell the property) for senior housing. We understood at that time that if the City and Farms funded this project, we would be able to limit tenants to residents of our communities.

Dale Scrace, who was on the committee with me, was in fact working on such a project in Redford at that time. Several other Michigan communities have senior housing, which the cities funded without federal monies, and which are limited to residents of their respective communities.

Since that evening, I have spoken with several attorneys and legislators and have been unable to find that there is any recent law which prohibits communities from providing senior housing for their residents.

Senior housing, in my opinion, is very badly needed in all of the Grosse Pointes and I sincerely hope that misinformation and scare tactics will not lead to the elimination of that possible use of the site by the Farms.

Mr. Theros is new on the council, and I do hope that in the future he will be sure that his information is accurate prior to interrupting and contradicting a resident who is simply trying to make sure that the council is provided with the truth, rather than innuendo and scare tactics.

I am writing this letter because a number of people were present at that meeting and need to know the facts about what was said that evening.

Myrna Smith

Grosse Pointe Farms

Editor's note: We called Redford Township and learned that a township-run senior facility there is limited to Redford Township residents and related family members. St. Clair Shores runs a senior housing building that, while open to anyone, there is a waiting list and St. Clair Shores residents get preference over non-residents on the list.

Myrna Smith
June 13, 2002

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