Chappelle helps kill “half-baked” Ohio affordable housing project

It’s not every day that a celebrity attends a council meeting to talk about a housing project.

Dave Chappelle (Getty, iStock)
Dave Chappelle (Getty, iStock)

It’s rare that an affordable housing project brings an Emmy- and Grammy-winning satirist out of the woodwork — save one in an Ohio town of fewer than 4,000.

Comedian Dave Chappelle spoke out against a project with an affordable component in his town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News and multiple other outlets. The city council ultimately approved the project by developer Oberer Homes — without the affordable component.

Chappelle, whose father taught at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, didn’t mince words when he took the lectern to address the village council.

“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you,” he said. “You look like clowns. I’m not bluffing. I will take it all off the table.”

Chappelle was referring to his threat to pull the plug on local projects he was working on under his company Iron Table Holdings. They include plans for a restaurant called Firehouse Eatery and a comedy club called Live from YS.

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Chappelle’s team refuted the notion that he stopped low-income units, saying instead that that proposal had been poorly planned.

“Dave Chappelle didn’t kill affordable housing,” Carla Sims, a spokesperson for Chappelle, told outlets. “Concerned residents and a responding Village Council ‘killed’ a half-baked plan which never actually offered affordable housing.”

The development would have included 64 single-family homes, 52 duplexes and 24 townhomes, plus an additional 1.75 acres that would go to the community for affordable housing starting at the mid-$200,000 price point. Now zoning will revert to what had been previously approved, allowing for 143 single-family homes starting at about the mid-$300,000s.

“Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing. However, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture and infrastructure of the Village,” Sims said.

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