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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Council member is launching a new effort to crack down on illegal housing in the city.

Metro Council President David James is taking steps to address what he says is a big problem in some West Louisville neighborhoods.

Surrounded by several advocates at City Hall Monday morning, James announced that he's filing a resolution directing the Metro Planning Commission to develop new proposals to crack down on illegal transitional housing.

Specifically, that would include halfway houses and sober living houses that are opening without permits and without warning in residential areas.

These locations provide shelter for people recovering from addiction. The problem is many of these houses are also collecting rent, but are not always up to proper standards for either housing or care.

"When those things take place, you have citizens that are actually in need of the transitional housing paying large amounts of money to live in a particular facility that may be claiming to be a clean and sober living facility, but in fact, it’s just a way to gather money and take advantage of individuals," James explained.

Kimberly Moore, spokeswoman for the Recovery Housing Task Force, echoed James' concerns.

"I mean, people are getting preyed on daily," she said. "We get phone calls where people are told they have to do certain things to get money. Don't come back if you don't have any money. So a lot of people are impacted, and it's causing a lot of harm to people who are really trying to get sober."

If the resolution passes, the Planning Commission will get to work on proposed regulations, and even more importantly, enforcement. Those proposals will then be brought to Metro Council for approval.

James hopes the new regulations will streamline the process of either licensing or shutting down these illegal houses.

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Reporter

I cover a range of stories for WDRB, but really enjoy tracking what's going on at our State Capitol. I grew up on military bases all over the world, but am a Kentuckian at heart. I'm an EKU alum, and have lived in Louisville for 30 years.