MHC Releases the 2018 State of Metropolitan Housing Report

The State of Metropolitan Housing Report (SMHR) examines nine housing indicators that MHC tracks to assess annual progress on fair housing and affordable housing opportunities in the 13-county Louisville metropolitan area, which includes five counties in southern Indiana.

The 2018 SMHR is subtitled, “Involuntary Displacement,” as the report also focuses on the state of evictions, foreclosures, and other indicators of involuntary displacement related to changes in the state of affordable housing in Louisville/Jefferson County and the Louisville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). To access the full report click on the following:

2018 State of Metropolitan Housing Report

The SMHR includes important data on evictions, foreclosures, homeownership rates, and homelessness, among other housing-related topics. The report clearly demonstrates Metropolitan Louisville’s growing need for safe, fair, and affordable housing.

From the focus topic the report shows:
• Statewide, evictions are concentrated in Louisville. From 2000-2016, Louisville/Jefferson County total evictions were, on average, more than half (54.0 percent) of all evictions statewide, and Louisville/Jefferson County eviction filings accounted for about two-thirds (66.9 percent) of the state total. Yet, Jefferson County contains only 21.1 percent of the state’s renter-occupied housing units.
• While evictions are declining overall, rates remain high in some areas. Eviction data, from 2016, for census tracts in Jefferson County show an average of 36.68 total evictions with an average rate of 5.18 percent. Tracts with the 10 highest eviction rates all have rates of 12.0 percent or higher, which is greater than the 2001 peak eviction rate of 8.20 for Louisville/Jefferson County. These tracts are concentrated in western and southeastern Jefferson County.
• Foreclosures sales are higher in western Louisville/Jefferson County than in the rest of the city. Nearly three of every ten (29.5 percent) foreclosure sales occur in just three zip codes (40212, 40211, and 40216). Each of these zip codes account for more than 9.1 percent of total foreclosure sales in Louisville.
• Twenty-eight census tracts in Jefferson County are found to be at increased risk for involuntary displacement due to neighborhood changes that jeopardize the housing stability of current residents. These places have a combination of higher rates of vulnerable populations, demographic change, and increasing home values either within the tract or in an adjacent tract.
From the general measures on fair and affordable housing, the Report shows:
• Louisville Metro continues to segregate by race, having a disability, being a female headed household with children and/or being Hispanic/Latinx.
• Nearly 40 percent of the workforce does not earn a wage that would support the rent of a modest two-bedroom apartment in the Louisville MSA.
• Lower-income homeowners in Jefferson County continue to struggle with shelter costs, as over 83 percent of households earning between $20,000 and $34,999 devote more than 30 percent of their income towards shelter and close to half of those earning between $35,000 and $49,999 are in the same situation.
• Homeownership rates for whites in Louisville Metro is nearly 70 percent compared to 36 percent of black/African American households and 37 percent of Hispanic/Latinx households.

MHC recommends the following:
• Demand that all planning processes address the increase in need for affordable and accessible housing across the entire county.
• Develop and support policies that require inclusion of affordable housing whenever the city confers a benefit to a housing developer.
• Develop new and expand existing policies that protect existing residents from negative effects of property value increases that are a result of large scale public and private economic development projects.
• Augment incentives for producing affordable and accessible housing.
• Establish new and support existing programs for accessible short-term low-interest loans for those in danger of eviction or foreclosure.
• Expand programs that help low-income home owners repair and maintain their homes.

MHC Executive Director Cathy Hinko sees the analysis within the State of Metropolitan Housing Report as a component of a larger framework that supports a new approach to development in Louisville – prosperity without displacement. “The number of planned investments and projects in neighborhoods across the city, particularly places in West Louisville that have borne the brunt of disinvestment and systemic racism, has created a watershed moment for the future of Louisville. We have a chance to reshape development practices in our city towards a process that is community-based and centers the needs of people in the neighborhood where investment is occurring. Concerns about involuntary displacement must be front and center in all development projects, and policy tools – specifically protecting existing affordable housing and creating new affordable housing – should be a priority. Additionally, we must recognize the forces that can lead to involuntary displacement, including eviction, foreclosure, gentrification-related neighborhood change, and others. We must create a suite of policy tools to proactively protect at risk residents.”

The Metropolitan Housing Coalition, made up of over 300 member organizations and individuals, has educated and advocated for fair, safe and affordable housing and increased housing choices for all people in the Louisville MSA, for over 25 years. For more information on MHC, visit our website at www.metropolitanhousing.org. All MHC reports and publications are available as free downloads on the Web site.

This year’s report is made possible by the support of Louisville Metro Government, PNC Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo l, and University of Louisville’s Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice Research.