Dave Chappelle Under Fire For Opposing Housing Development That Included Affordable Housing Component

Dave Chappelle Under Fire For Opposing Housing Development That Included Affordable Housing Component

Dave Chappelle

Comedian Dave Chappelle performs. Photo Credit: Mathieu Bitton / Netflix

The village council in Yellow Springs, near Dayton, Ohio, has voted to nix an affordable housing component planned for an upcoming development after residents spoke out against the project and world-famous comedian Dave Chappelle threatened to pull his investments from the area.

The “Sticks & Stones” comic joined other residents in his hometown who complained of traffic congestion and safety risks to children, among other objections.

During a December 2021 council meeting for the village — population 3,697 — Chappelle railed against a 53-acre planned housing development that includes 64 single-family homes, 52 duplexes, 24 townhomes and 1.75 acres set aside to build affordable housing. The affordable housing component was added after the village council asked the builder, Oberer Homes, to incorporate “community values in negotiations.”

Yellow Springs is the planned site of Chappelle’s restaurant, Firehouse Eatery, and comedy club, Live from YS, in an old firehouse he bought from the village.

“I don’t why the village council would be afraid of litigation from a $24-million company while it kicks out a $65 million-a-year company,” Chappelle said at the meeting. “I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns. I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table.”

Village Council President Brian Housh provided a memo that compared what the development would look like with and without the affordable housing component.

The council ended in 2-2 vote, with one recusal. Housh and Marianne McQueen voted for the revised project, while council members Carmen Brown and Lisa Kreeger voted against the project, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Councilmember Kevin Stokes recused himself because he lives near the project and felt there was a conflict of interest.

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It isn’t the first time Chappelle voiced his opposition to the project. In December, he said he was “adamantly opposed” to it.

“I’ve invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable,” Chappelle said. “I would say that Oberer can buy all of this property from me if they want to be your benefactor because I will no longer want to.”

The investments Chappelle speaks of were made through his company, Iron Table Holdings LLC.

Chappelle did not mention exactly why he was adamantly opposed to the development, but users on social media weighed in.

Some believe Chappelle and some of his neighbors don’t want people of a certain class in their neighborhoods, but others said that wasn’t the case.

“Dave Chappelle personally came to a city council meeting and threatened to remove his $65m dollars of investments from his city if they allowed a developer to move forward with an affordable housing program,” @ExileGrimm wrote. “The objection wasn’t to the build, but the affordable housing component.”

“The Black celebrities you adore aren’t in your tax bracket. They’re your class enemies. And since they don’t need reparations, they usually oppose that too,” ADOS co-founder Yvette Carnell tweeted. She added, “@tonetalks & I have caught hell for telling y’all the truth about Black celebrities. Truth hurts, I guess.”

Others defended Chappelle and the Yellow Springs residents in opposition to the project.

“Crazy misleading headline – the proposed ‘affordable housing’ started at 200k vs. 300k; had reduced utility revenue and appeared to have design and congestion issues,” @ozsultan tweeted. “FYI: This is in an area with a median income of 33k – so 200k homes aren’t ‘affordable’ or accessible.”

“@KnowingBetterYT did you do your due diligence before castigating @DaveChappelle as some greedy troll? These ‘affordable units’ may not have been as affordable as we’ve been lead to believe,” @Thoughtcriminal wrote. “Or were you just mad a black person partcipated in the political process?”