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Louisville housing group pushes for zoning changes, rent control in new report

Affordable housing site in Portland
An affordable housing site in Portland from February 2019. The Metropolitan Housing Coalition advocates for affordable housing across Louisville.

A Louisville research and advocacy group called on leaders to increase housing units and enact displacement protections, among other changes, in its latest annual report.

The Metropolitan Housing Coalition (MHC), which promotes accessible and affordable housing, said it supported recommended Phase 2 and 3 changes to the city’s Land Development Code that would permit more multi-family and affordable homes to be built.

But at a Thursday event to discuss the report hosted at Spalding University, co-author and University of Louisville professor Kelly Kinahan said that the group also wants more to be done to increase housing density. She mentioned removing zoning districts that only allow single-family homes to be built as an example.

Kinahan also discussed MHC’s suggestion that the city establish a long-term rental assistance program for private properties to keep residents housed. She brought up Washington, D.C.’s Rent Supplemental Program and COVID-related federal funds provided to Louisville renters.

“Our recommendation here is that we capitalize on that now, capitalize on that institutional infrastructure and that institutional knowledge that currently exists,” Kinahan said.

Another policy goal in the report is to set rent control measures, specifically in nine West End neighborhoods where there is concern development efforts may displace residents

University of Louisville professor and report co-author Lauren Heberle said at the event that existing legislation does not guarantee real solutions for people who might be faced with rising home costs.  

“Many rightfully question whether TIFs under any circumstance can actually benefit those who live in the areas that they impact,” Heberle said.

MHC’s report mentioned November’s mayoral and Metro Council elections and said the upcoming city leadership could make important changes in housing policy. The Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government co-sponsored the report.

Jacob is LPM's Business and Development Reporter. Email Jacob at jmunoz@lpm.org.

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