Education & Advocacy Committee Meeting- April 9

April 9, 2013- Education and Advocacy Committee Meeting.  New Directions Housing Corporation, 1000 E. Liberty, 3:30-4:30 PM.

2012 State of Metropolitan Housing Report Released! Now Available in MHC Online Report Library

2012 State of Metropolitan Housing Report Released at Public Forum Held at the Mayor’s Gallery

MHC released the 2012 State of Metropolitan Housing Report (SMHR), at a press conference and forum on Thursday, November 29th at the Mayor’s Gallery.  The forum opened with a statement by Virginia Peck, Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization (CSR)- the main funder of this year’s SMHR  through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Grant.  Ms. Peck spoke of the importance of the SMHR, and also thanked the CSR staff members and the non-profit developers who worked so hard to successfully implement NSP in Louisville, a federal program designed to address the issue of vacant properties.

MHC Board President Christie McCravy then welcomed all attendees and thanked the sponsors of the SMHR:  Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization; Louisville Metro Council Neighborhood Development Fund- with thanks to Metro Councilmembers Marianne Butler, Attica Woodson Scott, Tina Ward Pugh, Glen Stuckel, Stuart Benson, Robin Engel, Jon Ackerson, Cheri Bryant Hamilton,  Tom Owen, David Yates, Kelly Downard, David Tandy, and Mary Woolridge ; PNC Bank; Fifth Third Bank; and the Gannett Foundation.  Ms. McCravy also thanked the research team from the University of Louisville Center for Environmental Policy and Management (CEPM)–  Lauren Heberle, Carol Norton, John Vick, and Allison Smith- for their great work on the report.

MHC Executive Director Cathy Hinko then discussed the impact of the  report’s findings, observing that “Our housing scene has changed.”  Among the many issues she discussed, she noted our great need to reinvest in our neighborhoods by rehabilitating and reusing vacant properties.  She also emphasized our need for more affordable units for families throughout our community- as demonstrated by the record number of JCPS students who experienced homelessness during the 2011-12 school year.

Dr. Lauren Heberle, Director of  CEPM, then opened the presentation of the report’s findings by describing CEPM’s role in the community and thanking all the cooperative partners in government and community-based organizations that provide the data that make the SMHR  possible.

John Vick, M.S. then presented a summary of this year’s focus topic: vacant properties.  He detailed important issues we face and made policy recommendations: establish a local vacant property database;  mandatory vacant property registration;  using properties to serve a growing rental market; using the land bank to assemble land for redevelopment and to think beyond single properties when planning; eliminate the  sale of tax liens to third party-investors that strips our city of its ability to control problem properties; and advocate for state legislation to promote brownfields redevelopment.  Vick closed his presentation with a summary of the impacts of the NSP program in Louisville, highlighting the jobs and revenues created by the 17 home ownership units rehabilitated through the program.

Dr. Allison Smith then presented data highlights from the report’s 9 annual measures of fair and affordable housing, emphasizing the gap between median income in Louisville and what it takes to afford fair market rent and our 21% increase in the number of children experiencing homelessness in JCPS, among other issues.  For the first time, the 2012 SMHR includes data on the number of children experiencing homelessness in the MSA’s public school systems; before MHC reported only on Jefferson County Public Schools.

Curtis Stauffer, MHC Development Director/Advocacy Project Coordinator, concluded the forum with a call to action,  highlighting steps people can take today to advocate for affordable housing and reinvestment in our neighborhoods.

The SMHR  examines nine housing indicators that MHC tracks to assess annual progress on affordable housing opportunities in the 13-county metropolitan area including foreclosures, homeownership rates, homelessness, and renters with excessive cost burden, among other topics.  The report clearly demonstrates Metropolitan Louisville’s growing need for safe, fair, and affordable housing.

2012 SMHR Release Forum Powerpoint Presentation

2012 State of Metropolitan Housing Report

The SMHR  release has received great media coverage!

LEO Weekly  by Anne Marshall

Louisville Courier-Journal  by Marcus Green

Two pieces on WFPL by Devin Katayama. “Report: Vacant Housing Unequally Plagues West End” and “Louisville Doesn’t Do Good Enough Job Tracking Vacant Properties

WDRB by Stephan Johnson


Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (LAHTF) Raises $450K for Loan Fund and Releases Housing Needs Assessment

Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund Releases 2012 Needs Assessment and Celebrates $450,000 in Additional Funding with Mayor Fischer

On Tuesday, November 20,  Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (LAHTF)  celebrated securing $400,000 in additional funding, a step on the path towards achieving dedicated ongoing public revenue for the Trust, and release the organization’s first Needs Assessment which calls for the establishment of 57,974 additional units of affordable housing in Louisville to meet the demand.

The Louisville AHTF secured the match by raising $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from Louisville businesses and individuals prior to the June 30 2012 deadline. The funds will be combined with an allocation of $250,000 from Kentucky’s National Mortgage Settlement funds and leveraged to create a revolving loan fund to reduce the costs for affordable housing developers to rehabilitate vacant and abandoned homes in Louisville, turning them over for re-use by families and individuals who cannot afford housing.

Homes that are created because of the AHTF are guaranteed to remain affordable for many years to come. Housing Trust Funds are flexible, efficient, and leverage public funds with additional investments. Every dollar in public funding allocated to the LAHTF attracts an average of 7 more dollars to Louisville to also invest in housing that’s decent and affordable.

The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (LAHTF) was established by Metro Council to invest public funds in the kind of housing our community desperately needs to thrive: homes for people on fixed incomes like seniors and people with serious disabilities; for young families starting out; and for working people whose wages are really not enough to live in Metro Louisville.

The need for housing relief is clear and immediate. The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s 2012 Needs Assessment indicates about half of all Louisville renters live in housing they cannot afford. LAHTF Needs Assessment 2012.
A snapshot of other housing need data from the LAHTF report:

  • 91,999 Louisville families can’t afford their rent or mortgage– the equivalent of filling the YUM! Center to capacity more than four times.
  • 1 in 10 Jefferson County Public School children were homeless in the last school year, indicating a 44% increase in homeless families in Louisville.
  • 37% of Louisville’s workforce has a median income below what is needed to afford rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment at market rate in Louisville. That is 218,000 Louisville workers who need affordable housing.
  • The number of households on the waiting list for subsidized housing has doubled in the past two years to 24,394.
  • Louisville has seen a 17% increase in orders of sale for home foreclosures in the past year, on top of the 700% increase in the past 14 years, devastating neighborhoods with vacant, uncared-for properties.

“Hardworking people should be able to afford a home in Louisville and still have enough money for groceries and child care. The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund is a tool that can help turn things around and create housing opportunity,” said Board President Kevin Dunlap.

LAHTF Executive Director Rachel M. Hurst said, “The Needs Assessment is a call to action. If we are truly serious about addressing the housing needs of Louisville families, seniors, and people with serious disabilities, we must establish the key component that defines all housing trust funds – a source of dedicated ongoing public revenue. We thank both Mayor Fischer for his public commitment to establishing $10 million in ongoing public revenue for the Trust, a goal established by Metro Council, and Metro Council members who have already pledged to work together to establish a source of funding. The Board of the LAHTF looks forward to working hand in hand with these leaders to make the Trust Fund an effective tool to solve the affordable housing crisis in Louisville.”

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund was established by the Louisville Metro Council to invest public and private funds in the development and preservation of affordable housing, and into programs that enhance housing success for vulnerable populations like seniors on fixed incomes, people with serious disabilities, working people not earning enough to afford housing, and single parent families.

We still need to develop a permanent, ongoing source of public funding for the LAHTF!  Support a 1% Increase in the Local Insurance Premium Tax

Hardworking families deserve the opportunity to afford a home and still have enough money for groceries and child care.  The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund can help solve this crisis.

The city of Louisville may take action now to help these 91,999 families who  can’t afford their rent or mortgage , without requiring state action, by enacting a 1% insurance premium tax increase by March 2013 as the source of ongoing dedicated public revenue for the LAHTF.

With a 1% increase in the insurance premium tax, Louisville establishes an estimated $9.7 million annually in dedicated public revenue for the LAHTF to help struggling families.

The Board of Directors of the Louisville Metro Affordable Housing Trust Fund, appointed by the Mayor, confirmed by Metro Council, and representative of the community, unanimously recommends a 1% increase in the insurance premium tax be dedicated to the LAHTF.  Furthermore, the Mayoral Task Force appointed to study the issue also recommended this in a December 6, 2006 report.  The AHTF Task Force was comprised of bankers, realtors, apartment owners, housing advocates, developers, nonprofits, and state and local government representatives.

Urban League report on Louisville Metro Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program released on Oct. 30

Louisville Metro Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP): Evolution & Impact 2009-2012 discusses the history and outcomes of the Louisville Metro HPRP. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or Stimulus Package) included $1.5 billion for HPRP. Louisville Metro received $4,870,830 in a 3-year grant for this program.

HPRP offered its participants two types of rental assistance, “homelessness prevention” and “rapid re-housing.” Homelessness prevention provided rental subsidies to tenants at risk of eviction due to their inability to pay rent in full. This allowed them to remain in their existing homes. The rapid-rehousing program provided rent, and, moving costs, and/or security deposit subsidies that enabled recipients to locate new rental housing. HPRP also provided clients with case management services designed to help them become self-sufficient. Some of the case management funds supported legal services and referrals to households facing eviction hearings in court.

The report summarizes the history of the program in Louisville, including important changes made after the first year to improve the program’s efficacy. The report also discusses client outcomes, including stories about three individual clients’ experiences with HPRP. The report finds that HPRP was a Successful Recovery Act Intervention with lasting impacts that helped 2,069 Louisville households hurt by the recession.

HPRP: Evolution & Impact 2009-2012 was prepared by Louisville Urban League in partnership with the Louisville Metro Department of Community Services & Revitalization (CSR). MHC researched and wrote the report for LUL.

The October 30, 2012 public forum for the report’s release featured: Ben Richmond and Christie McCravy of LUL; Viginia Peck and Joe Hamilton of CSR; and Cathy Hinko and Curtis Stauffer of MHC.  Roger Leonard of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development also briefly spoke about the importance of the HPRP program and the lessons learned.

Zoning and Land Development Code- It’s time for citizen input!

Zoning and the Land Development Code (LDC) have been topics in the community.  At both the 2012 Fair Housing Month forum, held on April 16 and the May 15 meeting of the Louisville Vacant Properties Campaign (LVPC)  Michael Hill from Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services made presentations providing an overview  of laws governing land use in Louisville, the Cornerstone 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and the current LDC- including Alternative Development Incentives for the development of affordable housing.    At both presentations, he was joined by Phil Bills, Director of Planning & Design Services.

The Fair Housing Coalition’s 2012 Fair Housing Month Forum held on April 16, 2012 was a great success.  Over 40 people attended and learned about Louisville’s Land Development Code and how it affects fair housing choice in our city.

At the Fair Housing Month Forum, the audience asked  questions largely focused on how zoning has historically facilitated segregation and limited affordable housing development to certain neighborhoods.  As part of this conversation, Bills and Hill provided more information on the history of zoning in Louisville.  Bills showed the Comprehensive Plan from 1966 that consisted only of a large map on one side of poster showing how Jefferson County was zoned and text in columns on the other side- a stark contrast to the 140 pages of Cornerstone 2020!  Carolyn Miller-Cooper, Executive Director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission then discussed the State of Fair Housing in Louisville- building on the finding s  MHC’s 2011 report of the same name. Carolyn demonstrated that classes of people protected by fair housing laws are concentrated in certain parts of our city- areas where the land development code allows affordable housing (multi-family and/or smaller lot sizes) to be developed.  The Fair Housing Month forum concluded with a panel discussion of how zoning impacts affordable and multi-familiy housing development.  Panelists were Gale Lively of the Louisville Apartment Association, Tawana Hughes of Tawana Hughes Builder, LLC, and Chris Dischinger of LDG Development.  They discussed how zoning regulations and community response serve as a barrier to the development of multi-family housing and add costs to affordable housing units.

At the LVPC meeting, participants wanted to learn more about how zoning facilitates and inhibits development and reuse of properties.

At both meetings, attendees asked how citizens can participate in the upcoming “Phase 2” of the revision of the LDC.    PDF of Michael Hill’s Powerpoint presentation on Planning & Zoning in Louisville 4.16.12

MHC’s 2011 report- The State of Fair Housing in Louisville: Impediments & Improvements showed that zoning is a barrier to fair housing choice in our community and recommends changes to the Land Development  Code. The 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 process has begun and there are subcommittees meeting.

The subcommittees are:

  • Permitted/Conditional Use Listings Review
  • Form Districts
  • Infill Development Standards
  • Landscaping/Tree Canopy Requirements
  • Development Review Process
  • Fair & Affordable Housing
  • Major/Minor Subdivisions
  • Transportation/Mobility/Parking
  • Miscellaneous Research

All committee meetings are open to the public.  Go to the LDC Improvement Committee web page for more information about the LDC review and meeting  times and dates.  If you have questions about the LDC review or would like to make comment, please contact Michael Hill at 502-574-6230 or

Therevision of the LDC  provides opportunities to make changes that increase fair and affordable housing opportunities throughout our community. Citizen input is key to this process and MHC will work to keep you updated on opportunities to participate.

MHC’s new report, “Louisville’s Foreclosure Recovery: Understanding & Responding to the Impact of Foreclosure Sales” Released on March 21

Louisville’s Foreclosure Recovery: Understanding & Responding to the Impact of Foreclosure Sales

MHC released our newest issue paper at a public forum hosted by the Louisville Urban League on March 21.   Produced in partnership with the Network Center for Community Change (NC3), Louisville’s Foreclosure Recovery: Understanding & Responding to the Impacts of Foreclosure Sales updates MHC’s January 2008 report Louisville’s Foreclosure Crisis.

The 2008 report examined and analyzed all 1,699 foreclosures filed in Jefferson County, KY from January 1 through June 30, 2007. This new paper examines the status of those properties, using data from local government supplemented by site examination. The report assesses current trends in foreclosure in Louisville, the impact of foreclosure on vacancy rates, the tremendous loss in home value resulting from these 2007 foreclosures, and the subsequent increase in costs and loss in property tax revenue to Metro Louisville Government. The issue paper concludes with recommend actions that will guide a recovery from the tremendous losses of foreclosure in our city.

The forum opened with a welcome by MHC’s Cathy Hinko and a statement from NC3’s Dana Jackson observing the power that research and data can give residents to advocate for change.  Jane Walsh and Micah Herrmann of NC3 then presented the report’s findings, followed by a discussion of the reports recommendations by Cathy Hinko and Jane Walsh.

After the report’s presentation, a panel discussed their reactions to the report’s findings and recommendations.  Our panelists were:

MHC wishes to thank the sponsors of the report, Louisville Metro Council and NC3 for their generous support.

« Previous Page