Chappelle Pushes Back After Affordable Housing Controversy

Comic says threat to nix club over project plan had nothing to do with the idea of affordable housing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2022 1:17 PM CST
Dave Chappelle: I 'Didn't Kill Affordable Housing' Idea
Dave Chappelle arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, on Oct. 27, 2019.   (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

Comedian Dave Chappelle said his threat to pull the plug on his plans to open a comedy club near his hometown in Ohio wasn't because he opposed a proposal for affordable housing in a nearby development. Chappelle, who became the target of criticism this week after speaking against the development in Yellow Springs, said in a statement that the plan wasn't the right fit for the village, per the AP. "Dave Chappelle didn't kill affordable housing," said Carla Sims, a spokesperson for Chappelle. "Concerned residents and a responding Village Council 'killed' a half-baked plan [that] never actually offered affordable housing."

Chappelle was among several residents who spoke up against the project at a council meeting Monday, the Dayton Daily News reported. The comedian, who announced last year that he was buying a former fire station in Yellow Springs with plans to turn it into a comedy club, said he would back out if the project was allowed. "I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table," Chappelle said. The council sided with Chappelle and other residents opposing the project, which would have been expanded to include duplexes, townhomes, and less than two acres for future affordable housing.

Instead, the project will now go forward with just single-family homes. Chappelle lives with his family outside the village and has ties that go back to when his father graduated from Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, and later was a professor there. "Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing," said the statement from Chappelle's spokesperson. "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."

(Read more Dave Chappelle stories.)

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