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The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is examining how various housing issues are widening inequity in Louisville and what is or isn’t being done to fix things.

Here’s why KyCIR is investigating Louisville's housing market – and how you can help

A vacant Vermont Avenue house that was sold through the Landbank Authority.
A vacant Vermont Avenue house that was sold through the Landbank Authority.

Housing is one of the most pressing issues in Louisville today. Just ask around. Odds are, you’ll hear there’s not enough housing or that what’s available is often too expensive, especially for the people who earn the least. Homelessness is rising in Louisville and the country, driven by inflation and rent increases. Meanwhile, private investment and gentrification in the predominantly Black west Louisville area have renters worried they’ll be priced out.

At the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, we understand that housing issues intersect with so many social problems hurting Louisvillians, from inequities in health, safety and education to environmental injustice and poverty. That’s why we’re launching a project aimed at shedding light on how various housing issues in Louisville are widening inequity between communities and what is or isn't being done to fix things. The project will debut in August and run through the end of the year.

But first, we’re asking you to share your housing-related thoughts, questions, and experiences with the KyCIR team and Louisville Public Media. We want to hear from renters, homeowners, housing advocates, realtors, organizers, lenders, city officials and others who can help us understand the systems that define the city’s housing market and how it influences people’s lives.

We’re looking at who owns property, who can’t own property and how this shapes the city. We want to know who is taking advantage of people, and who wants to stop it. We’re reviewing who gets public money to operate housing, who is tasked with enforcing property codes and if these groups are doing what they’re supposed to.

But we’re counting on you to help us tell stories that matter and make Louisville a better home for everyone. Please answer the survey below and share it with your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone in your network who lives in Louisville and has something to say about housing. We’ll report back on what we learn from our listening campaign and incorporate it into our work.

FYI: Our reporters will also be reaching out in person and at community events and discussions over the next several months to hear from you. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be among the first to know about our community engagement plans. 

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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