Campaign to Remove Zoning Barriers to Fair Housing Choice

Even though over 40 years have passed since the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the truth is that making fair housing available to all metro Louisvillians remains an enormous challenge. The 2010 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in Louisville Metro, KY  (adopted as policy by Louisville Metro Government) found that our community remains highly segregated by race, income and family status.  Louisville Metro shares with many other places in the United States an ongoing challenge to be truly welcoming to all its residents.  Civil rights laws of the 1960s created a basis for greater fairness, yet their passage could not undo the longstanding separations and inequalities in residential patterns that have been present since Louisville’s earliest days.

Our historic zoning practices and patterns of residential growth have served to limit housing choice within the Louisville area. 75 percent of all the land in Metro Louisville is zoned residential, with 69 percent of this land zoned R-4, which requires that homes be built on lots no smaller than 9,000 square feet, or have 4.84 dwellings per acre. There are few, if any, R-4 lots within the old City limits. These zoning classifications have not been updated since the 1940s, and serve as a remnant of the prevailing attitudes and policies of that era which promote economic and racial segregation. The vast areas and location of land zoned R-4 limits housing choice for a large percentage of the population. For instance, people who live in multifamily apartments instead of single-family dwellings are excluded from over half the residential land in Louisville Metro.

Land Development Code (LDC) is now under review.  Louisville Metro has appointed a 14-member LDC Improvement Committee consisting of Louisville Metro Government staff, representatives from the development industry, representatives from neighborhood groups, as well as other organizations and citizen groups.     Phase 2 of the LDC review is underway and there are subcommittees meeting that will make recommendations for changes to the code that Metro Council must ultimately approve.

The revision of the LDC provides opportunities to make changes that increase fair and affordable housing opportunities throughout our community.  Metropolitan Housing Coalition (MHC) is asking concerned citizens to send a postcard to their Metro Council representatives to support changes to the Land Development Code that increase opportunities for multi-family housing and smaller lot sizes and that allow increased density in residential use of land.  The changes can help increase housing choice!
You can download and print the postcard by following this link
You can mail the postcards yourself to your Metro Councilperson, but MHC is collecting them and will hand deliver cards en masse to Metro Council Members.   Help support fair housing choice by signing the card.  Please ask your friends and neighbors to submit cards too.

If you have any questions about this campaign to remove zoning barriers to fair housing, please contact MHC at 504-6858 or info@metropolitanhousing.org.