New HUD/Urban Institute Report: “America’s long journey to end housing discrimination remains unfinished.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Urban Institute, recently released its 2012 Housing Discrimination Study: Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities. This is the fourth such study of housing discrimination in America sponsored by HUD since the late-1970s.

To read the report, visit the Urban Institute Web site at http://www.urban.org/exposing-housing-discrimination/

You can also read an article about the report and its findings at The Atlantic Cities.

HUD’s press release on the study and findings: RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES FACE MORE SUBTLE HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

Louisville HUD furlough day June 14

All HUD offices around the country, including the one in Louisville, will be closed on Friday, June 14, as part of sequestration budget cuts:

(from hud.gov)
HUD OFFICES TO CLOSE NATIONWIDE ON FRIDAY, JUNE 14TH
Seven furlough days to be paired with holidays & weekends to ease impact

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is notifying the public today that it will close its offices nationwide on Friday, June 14 as a result of government-wide automatic spending cuts that took effect on March 1, 2013. HUD will resume normal operation on Monday, June 17. We encourage those with business in HUD offices to plan accordingly.

2013 MHC Annual Meeting, Tuesday, June 4. Attorney General Jack Conway will be Keynote Speaker!

Support greater Louisville’s united voice for safe, fair and affordable housing at our 24th Annual Meeting!  Information on Keynote Speaker Attorney General Jack Conway, tickets,  event program ads and sponsorships is below.  If you have questions about the 2013 Annual Meeting,  please contact MHC at info@metropolitanhousing.org or 502-584-6858.

2013 MHC Annual Meeting

“Taking Action, Creating Change” 

Tuesday, June 4
Hyatt Regency Louisville
311 South 4th Street
Social Hour- 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Dinner and Presentation- 6:00 p.m.
Tickets- $60  

Keynote Speaker- Attorney General Jack Conway

In November 2011, Jack Conway was elected to a second term as the 49th Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Jack is committed to working with local leaders and law-enforcement officers to make Kentucky a safer place to live work and raise a family. Jack is a member of NAAG, DAGA, the Kentucky Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Association. He previously served on the boards of the Muhammad Ali Center and the African American Heritage Center.

Attorney General Jack Conway has taken a strong leadership role in responding to the mortgage foreclosure crisis.  When he announced Kentucky’s participation in the historic $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement, he assured consumers that his work on this issue was not over. During negotiations for the mortgage foreclosure settlement, General Conway felt Kentucky had significant civil claims against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), the privately- held electronic registry that tracks servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States. In fact, he ensured that language was inserted into the settlement agreement that preserved states’ abilities to pursue claims against MERS.

MERS is a ghost and a façade that undermines Kentucky’s public reporting statutes. That’s why on January 23, General Conway filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court against MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary MERS for violations of Kentucky law.  Kentucky joins Delaware, New York and Massachusetts in taking legal action against MERS.

The lawsuit alleges that MERS violated Kentucky law by failing to record mortgage assignments with County Clerks when mortgages were sold or transferred from one entity to another. Attorney General Conway also believes MERS ripped off the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the trust fund by failing to pay the required recording fees. By creating a system that provides absolutely no public record of sales or transactions, MERS has destroyed the integrity of the public land recording system in the Commonwealth.  As a result of not publicly recording the mortgage assignments and paying the required fees, the lawsuit also alleges that MERS violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act by committing unfair, false and misleading conduct.

This is just one of several steps Attorney General Conway has taken to hold accountable those responsible for the mortgage foreclosure crisis and to help homeowners who were affected when the housing market collapsed.

Join us at the 2013 Annual Meeting to hear Attorney General Conway’s thoughts on strategies to respond to the mortgage foreclosure crisis and other housing issues facing the Commonwealth.

Tickets

Tickets to the 2013 Annual Meeting are $60.  Please take the following steps to purchase your tickets online.

1) Go to our online donation page and enter your payment information and the total amount for all tickets you would like to buy.

2) Include the following information in the “Comments” box on the page

  • Type 2013 Annual Meeting Tickets and the names of all attendees (if known)
  • If you need a vegan/vegetarian meal, please type “veg meal” and the number of meals requested.

If you cannot attend but wish to donate ticket(s) as sponsorships for low-income attendees, please type “Ticket Donation” in the “Comments” box.

If you prefer to purchase your tickets by check, please mail payment with names of attendees to:
MHC, PO Box 4533, Louisville, KY 40204-4533.

Sponsorships

Sponsoring the 2012 Annual Meeting is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to our community and to fair and affordable housing.

  • Foundation Sponsor – $4,000
  • Cornerstone Sponsor – $2,500
  • Keystone Sponsor –  $1,500
  • Groundbreaking Sponsor –  $1,000
  • Table Sponsor –  $500

To purchase a sponsorship go to our online donation page, complete your payment information and type your Sponsorship Level in the “Comments” box.

Benefits of each sponsorship level are described below.

Program Ads

Getting an ad in the 2012 Annual Meeting Program is another great way to demonstrate your support of MHC’s work the hundreds of  local community members, elected officials, affordable housing advocates, and business leaders who will be at the event.

  • Full page ad- $500
  • ½-page ad- $300
  • ¼-page ad- $75

To purchase a sponsorship go to our online donation page, complete your payment information and type your “Program Ad” in the “Comments” box.

 Sponsorship Benefits

Foundation Sponsor – $4,000

  • Two central eight-seat tables with company name
  • Opportunity to greet guests at the event
  • Opportunity to speak at the event
  • Display banner at the event on the stage
  • Option to display marketing materials at the event
  • Large font program mention
  • Full first page ad in program
  • Title sponsor listing in all media, press releases, and advisories
  • Recognition in MHC Newsletter, website, and annual State of Metropolitan Housing Report
  • Centerpiece with corporate logo

Cornerstone Sponsor – $2,500

  • Two central eight-seat tables with company name
  • ½-page ad in program
  • Display banner at the event in social area
  • Recognition from Podium
  • Centerpiece with corporate logo
  • Recognition in Media and Press Releases
  • Recognition in MHC Newsletter and website

Keystone Sponsor –  $1,500

  • ¼-page ad in program
  • Display poster on stand in social area
  • Recognition in MHC Newsletter and website
  • One eight-seat table
  • Centerpiece with corporate logo

Groundbreaking Sponsor –  $1,000

  • Listing in program
  • Recognition in MHC Newsletter and website
  • One eight-seat table
  • Centerpiece with corporate logo

Table Sponsor –  $500

  • Listing in program
  • One Eight-Seat Table

 

If you have questions about the 2013 Annual Meeting or event sponsorships, please contact MHC  at info@metropolitanhousing.org or 502-584-6858.

Fair Housing Month Events! FHC Fair Housing Month Forum- April 12; WIT Tenant Town Hall- April 15; & “Get on the Bus” Tour of Louisville’s Segregation History- April 23

April 12- Fair Housing Coalition Fair Housing Month Forum, Spalding University Egan Leadership Center Lectoriam (Corner of 4th and Breckenridge Streets), 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The topic of the 2013 Fair Housing Month Forum will be  mental and behavioral health disabilities and how they impact housing choice.

Speakers include:  District Court Judge David Holton, Seven Counties Services Executive Director Anthony Zipple, Kathy Dobbins of Wellspring, Natalie Harris of the Coalition for the Homeless, a representative of Louisville Urban League’s Housing Counseling program, and Jim Burch of Seven Counties Services,  who coordinates services for people leaving incarceration.

The Fair Housing Month Forum will serve as the April 2012 meeting of the Fair Housing Coalition.

April 15– Tenant Town Hall, Spalding University Auditorium, 824 S. 4th Street, 6:00-8:00 p.m

Organized by Women in Transition (WIT), this event is an opportunity for tenants to speak out about housing issues affecting renters in Louisville.  Metro Council members and other city officials invited to listen.  Legal Aid Society will present Know Your Rights training.  Contact WIT’s Housing Team at wit.housingjustice@gmail.com for more information.

April 23- “Get on the Bus:  The Path Towards Equal Housing Opportunities,” Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard, 12:30-4:00 p.m.

State housing advocates will to honor Fair Housing Month with a bus tour of Louisville’s Segregation History. The event will open with a forum before the bus tour at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage where the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission will release Making Louisville Home for Us All: A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing. Click here to learn more about this important project.

The bus tour will be guided by historians and civil rights activists and will provide valuable insight into the legacy of historic discrimination that keeps Louisville highly segregated even after 45 years of federal fair housing laws.

The event is free and open to the public, but space on the bus tour is limited! Register online at www.lexingtonfairhousing.com or contact Art Crosby at 859-971-8067, toll free at 866-438-08617, or via email crosbylfhc@hotmail.com.

Sponsored by the Lexington Fair Housing Council, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization, Kentucky Housing Corporation, the U of L Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, and MHC.

Thanks to Highlands Tap Room Grill for Their Support of MHC’s Work through the “Thanksgiving Tuesday” Fundraiser on March 12!

MHC would like to thank Highlands Tap Room Grill for their generous support of our work through the ”
Thanksgiving Tuesday” fundraiser they hosted to benefit MHC on March 12!

Thanksgiving Tuesdays is a how the Highlands Tap Room Family says “thank you” and give back locally to the great organizations and charities serving Louisville. They donated 15% of the yesterday’s sales  to MHC!

We also want to thank everyone who came out to Highlands Tap Room Grill yesterday!  It was a fun day at a great restaurant!

For more information about the restaurant and to see a menu, go to http://www.highlandstaproom.com/grill.htm.

You can also  support another MHC member, the St. John Center for Homeless Men by attending their Highlands Tap Room Grill Thanksgiving Tuesday Fundraiser on March 26!

March 19 at 6PM-Louisville Metro Public Hearing on 2013-4 Action Plan for Federal Housing and Community Development Funds- This hearing will serve as March 2013 LVPC meeting

On Tuesday, March 19, Louisville Metro Government Department of Community Services and Revitalization will hold a public hearing to hear citizen priorities for the how Louisville Metro should use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entitlement funds for the next year.  The hearing will be at Mayor’s Gallery, 527 W. Jefferson Street, 6:00 p.m.

Entitlement funding includes Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). Entitlement funds continue to be cut at the federal level, making continued prioritization of these funds of utmost importance.

Because this important hearing is the same date and time of our March 2013 Louisville Vacant Properties Campaign meeting, this hearing will serve as the the March LVPC Meeting.

The next Louisville Vacant Properties Campaign meeting will be Tuesday, April 16, 5:30-7:30 PM at Presbyterian Community Center, 701 S. Hancock Street.

“Making Louisville Home for Us All: A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing.” Submit Your Ideas for Action Steps for the Plan!

The 2010 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in Louisville Metro, KY found that our community remains highly segregated by race, income and family status. Civil rights and equal protection 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.

The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, in partnership with MHC and the University of Louisville Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research,  is developing a new project –Making Louisville Home for Us All- A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing.   This Fair Housing Action Plan, funded by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD),  aims to offer a fuller understanding of how our current housing problems came to be, and develop clear action steps that take that history into account. We will outline a concrete vision with action steps for Louisville to become a fair, welcoming, and diverse home to all of its people.

Download this flyer to learn more about Making Louisville A Home for Us All: A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing.

Click here to see a Powerpoint presentation on Making Louisville Home for Us All- A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing. It also addresses the historic legacies of segregation and the policies that supported it.

We appeal to elected officials, policymakers, social service providers, educators, housing advocates and ordinary Louisvillians in every walk of life to work together toward greater housing opportunities for all. Here are some preliminary action steps we propose:

  • Conduct a city-wide education campaign about what fair housing is, and why it is important.
  •  Change the Land Development Code for Louisville Metro and all other cities in Jefferson County to permit multi-family housing to occur in what are now single-family only areas, including incentives in land use to make the housing financially feasible.
  • Prepare for, welcome and work with our growing number of immigrant and International neighbors.
  • INSERT YOUR IDEA HERE! Yes, we want to hear from YOU!
What are your ideas for meeting the housing needs of all Louisville residents over the next 20 years?

Send an email to info@metropolitanhousing.org.  Tell us:

  • What do you think are the top three barriers to fair housing choice in Louisville?
  • What are your recommended action steps to improve fair housing choice in Louisville?

Think big, think small, think creatively!

MHC also asks you to take action now!

Download and print this postcard to send to your Louisville Metro Councilperson

The card asks your Metro Councilperson 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 throughout our community.

Fair Housing Coalition Meeting- May 14, 2:00 p.m. at New Directions Housing Corporation. No April 2013 FHC meeting.

May 14 at 2:00 p.m.- Fair Housing Coalition Meeting.  New Directions Housing Corporation, 1000 E. Liberty Street.

The April 12 Fair Housing Month Forum will serve as the April meeting of the Fair Housing Coalition.

April 12- Fair Housing Coalition Fair Housing Month Forum, Spalding University Egan Leadership Center Lectoriam (Corner of 4th and Breckenridge Streets), 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The topic of the 2013 Fair Housing Month Forum will be  mental and behavioral health disabilities and how they impact housing choice.

Speakers include:  District Court Judge David Holton, Seven Counties Services Executive Director Anthony Zipple, Kathy Dobbins of Wellspring, Natalie Harris of the Coalition for the Homeless, a representative of Louisville Urban League’s Housing Counseling program, and Jim Burch of Seven Counties Services,  who coordinates services for people leaving incarceration.

 


State of Fair and Affordable Housing Report for Lexington-Fayette Urban County, Kentucky Released on February 6, 2013

A publication of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission (LFUCHRC),  the State of Fair and Affordable Housing Report for Lexington-Fayette Urban County, Kentucky examines local housing conditions in Lexington-Fayette Urban County with a particular focus on housing fairness, choice, and affordability.  LFUCHRC released this much needed in-depth look at fair and housing as a tool for both public and private sectors. LFUCHRC seeks to focus efforts to improve fair housing choices in Lexington and to strengthen the link between fair housing and affordable housing. Lexington, along with the rest of the state and country, has seen many demographic changes and gathered the information for easy access.

Metropolitan Housing Coalition and the University of  Louisville Center for Environmental Policy and Management did the research and writing of this report.  The report was produced in partnership with the Lexington Fair Housing Council and was funded by a grant from United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Ray Sexton, the Executive Director of the LFUCHRC stated that “my hope is that this report is a self-reflection of Lexington to show that although we have made strides, more work needs to be done.  This report will be an important tool to overcome the impediments that it highlights.”  

The report’s findings include:

  • The Hispanic population, which reported as 7 percent of the population, is very concentrated.  There are several block groups where the Hispanic population is over 20 percent and several more block groups where the population is over 10 percent.  The number of block groups where these concentrations have happened has increased between 2000 and 2010.
  • There has been substantial growth in the number of persons who are non-native English speakers, with an increase of 186 percent between 2005 and 2012.
  •  The number of block groups where African Americans are over 50 percent increased between 2000 and 2010.  While African Americans are about 15 percent of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County population, there are substantial areas where African Americans are 0 to 5 percent of the population.
  • Of those households that rent, a renter household with the annual median income of all renter households ($24,913) would allocate 35 percent of their total income to rent alone at Fair Market Rent ($725).  Any percentage of income spent on housing that exceeds 30 percent is considered severely cost-burdened.
  • A disproportionately high number of owner-occupied homes are owned by white homeowners: 87 percent of homeowners in Lexington-Fayette Urban County are white, while they comprise only 78 percent of the county’s population.
  • Subsidized housing is concentrated in only a few council districts: 83 percent of public housing units are in three districts (1, 2, and 8), and 70 percent of project-based Section 8 units are located in three districts (4, 8, and 11).

Follow this link to download a copy of the State of Fair and Affordable Housing Report for Lexington-Fayette Urban County, Kentucky.

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.

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