A spokesman for Dave Chappelle is claiming the comedian is not against affordable housing after a clip of him testifying against a new development at a local zoning meeting in Ohio went viral this week.
The clip shows Chappelle testifying at a meeting about development in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he lives. Chappelle lobbied hard against the project and threatened to pull his business interests — which include a comedy club and restaurant — out of the town if a zoning change was approved.
“I am not bluffing,” he says in the video, first posted by the Dayton Daily News. “I will take it all off the table.”
As the video spread, Chappelle was lampooned by some as a typical ‘NIMBY.’
“Imagine being fabulously wealthy and famous and applying all that clout toward making sure that poor people can’t access decent housing,” city planner and writer M. Nolan Gray wrote on Twitter.
The controversy is the second time Chappelle has found himself the target of critics in recent months, after a number of jokes in his most recent stand-up special The Closer were perceived as transphobic.
“Trans folk tried to warn us about him,” comedian Ava Vidal wrote on Twitter.
Chappelle did not go into specifics about the reasoning for his opposition in any of the public hearings. In a statement to Fox News, Carla Sims, a spokesperson for Chappelle, said the comedian was not opposed to affordable housing in general, but was opposed to the plan on its merits.
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. The objection wasn’t to the build, but the affordable housing component. https://t.co/3ahCy1KqmN pic.twitter.com/l8MTxhhlJ7
— grimm (@ExileGrimm) February 9, 2022
“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.
According to the Dayton Daily News, the proposed development included over 100 single-family homes with prices between $250,000 and $600,000. If a zoning change was granted, the plan would have included 64 single-family homes split between townhouses and duplexes, and a separate plot that would be set aside to be developed as low-income housing.
“The whole development deal, cloaked as an affordable housing plan, is anything but affordable. Three out of 143 lots would have been for ‘future’ affordable housing,” reads Sims’ statement. “The rest of the homes were to be priced between $250K and upwards of $600K. In Yellow Springs, and in many other places, that is not considered affordable housing. Instead, it’s an accelerant on the homogenization of Yellow Springs.”
The housing plan will now move forward with only single-family homes after the zoning change was denied, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Max Chrome, an advisor to Chappelle’s company Iron Table Holdings, told Fox News that the comedian also took issue with the developer — Oberer Homes — and how it engaged with the village.