Metro officials try to bridge gap between homeless, vacant homes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro officials try to bridge gap between homelessness, vacant homes

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB-TV)--There are thousands of vacant properties across Metro Louisville and thousands of people who need a place to live.  But there is an effort to bridge the gap between the two. 

Right now there is an effort to merge those vacant properties with the homeless and people on the section 8 waiting list.

"I would take one of them in a heartbeat," says Ronald Crumbo, who is waiting for a home.

Ronald and Susan Crumbo hope to eventually call one of Metro Louisville's thousands of vacant or abandoned properties home.  They have a government voucher to get a home, but finding one hasn't been easy.  "I have to find somebody that will accept the grant that I have for the housing."

The Crumbos live at Wayside Christian Mission and are just two of the thousands of people waiting for homes in Metro Louisville.

"Our housing scene has changed," says Cathy Hinko, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.

Thursday afternoon, the annual State of the Metropolitan Housing Report was released.

"There are thousands of vacant properties here and it's an increasing problem and that has an impact on all neighborhoods," Hinko says.

Hinko acknowledges that while there are still thousands of vacant properties, there are perhaps three times as many people waiting for homes. 

"A lot of people say we say we have vacant properties and we have people who are homeless and waiting...and how do we connect the two...why isn't there just an automatic bridge?" she says.

Hinko says a couple of things need to happen with all of the vacant and abandoned properties before a connection can be made. 

"So we need to either get control of the properties or encourage those who own them to put them into productive use."

Meanwhile, as he continues to wait for a home, Ronald Crumbo says he is more than happy to take one of the abandoned or vacant properties. 

"It doesn't make sense to leave 'em all set broke down and vacant...when they can be viable homes for people to live in."

The coalition's annual report also concluded that children in Metro Louisville are also experiencing homelessness at record numbers.  But the good news is that the city has made addressing these issues a priority.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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