First housing trust money aids 13 homes in south, west Louisvill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

First housing trust money aids 13 homes in south, west Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The first wave of money from Louisville’s affordable housing fund will be spent rehabilitating 13 vacant or abandoned homes in neighborhoods to the west and south of downtown.

The fund is using $185,000 to renovate the properties through partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, River City Housing and the Fuller Center for Housing of Louisville. Ten homes have been complete; work on three more is to start this fall, according to the trust.

The money is part of an overall investment of $1.3 million, which includes spending by the developers, said Rachel M. Hurst, executive director of the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

“In other words, each dollar … the trust spent has attracted more than $7 in other funds for the creation of affordable homes from vacant, neglected properties,” she said.

The goal of the trust fund, which was established by the Metro Council in 2008, is to have $10 million a year to spend helping create affordable housing for low-income residents. Former Mayor Jerry Abramson set aside $1 million for the fund years ago, but that money can’t be fully accessed until a dedicated revenue stream is found, Hurst said.

WDRB.com reported earlier this week that a Louisville Metro tax on some insurance premiums can be funneled into the fund, according to a May 30 advisory letter from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s office.

A proposed insurance tax increase failed to clear the Metro Council last year after the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office determined that the new revenue couldn’t be earmarked for the fund.

Conway’s office agreed but reversed course after state Rep. Joni Jenkins asked for a new opinion based on a section of state law that hadn’t been considered. That law allows Metro Louisville to keep some powers of a typical county government, such as specifying a tax’s purpose.

The trust fund’s board is appointed by Louisville’s mayor.

The first projects, according to the trust, are:

-Four previously abandoned homes in the Cane Run area for households making less than 80 percent of the area’s median income, or $45,900 for a family of three, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development guidelines.

-Four vacant lots in the Hazelwood neighborhood are to be turned into three homes starting in November, also for households making less than 80 percent of the area median income.

-Six abandoned properties in Chickasaw and Shawnee neighborhoods were rehabilitated for veterans and households making less than half of the median income, or $28,700 for a family of three.

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