Metro Council to decide on incentive-based affordable housing pl - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council to decide on incentive-based affordable housing plan

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Proponents of more affordable housing in Louisville have long said the lack of such housing creates segregation throughout Jefferson County. Proponents of more affordable housing in Louisville have long said the lack of such housing creates segregation throughout Jefferson County.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The debate continues over low-income housing in Louisville, but at least some steps are being taken to remedy what some say could become difficult situation.

“We don’t have enough it,” said executive director of the Metro Housing Coalition executive director Cathy Hinko. “We have more people that work full time that cannot afford a steady, safe place to live on their current income.”

On Monday, Louisville Metro Council’s land development committee voted 4-1 to allow “mixed residential development incentives” to developers. Proponents of more affordable housing in Louisville have long said the lack of such housing creates segregation throughout Jefferson County. Right now, Hinko says around 2,000 households need help finding affordable housing in Louisville.

“We develop job centers other than downtown and yet we haven't developed the housing for the people who work in those job centers,” Hinko said.

Current zoning regulations restrict what kind of developments can be built in areas zoned R-4 and R-5. The proposed changed would relax those restrictions and allow for developments with a mixture of homes, rentals and multifamily units to be built together.

“It opens up new opportunities for diverse housing,” Hinko said. “It is not mandatory; it’s a choice that a developer can use.”

Hinko says because this change does not require affordable housing to be built, the plan has been met with little opposition.

“We actually made this fairly mild because we really respect that there are people who invested in their community,” Hinko said.

The push for developers to include those type of units will be incentive based. Hinko says builders will be given more design freedom if certain criteria are met.

Opponents of more affordable housing say their concerns center mainly on safety and the thought that crime rates could increase. Other opponents say they worry about how many affordable housing developments might pop up in one area. This was a topic of discussion in committee on Monday and is expected to be once again in full Council on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Hinko and others say this step, if passed, is just a small step in creating more sustainable affordable housing for Metro Louisville.

“We cannot wait for someone else to save us, we must rescue ourselves,” Hinko added.

Metro Council is scheduled to vote on the issue in a meeting on Thursday.

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