Fischer’s racial equity plan sets key goals to improve homeownership rates in West Louisville

As a part of the racial equity plan, a pilot program called “My Louisville HOME” will improve homeownership rates in West Louisville and renovate vacant properties.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Developing affordable housing in West Louisville has always been one of the main goals for city and community leaders, and it’s now one of seven key action steps Mayor Greg Fischer released as a part of his racial equity plan.

Fischer announced new funding to West Louisville-based organizations Wednesday to increase diversity in tech fields. 

“Targeted towards groups that are underrepresented in the tech sector including Black residents, women and low-income Louisville residents,” he said.

There are roughly 4,000 vacant and abandoned properties in Louisville, according to the Metro Office of Housing. To address the problem the city is betting on a a pilot program called “My Louisville HOME” designed to take those empty properties and renovate them before selling.

“So it is a way to develop affordable housing in a community where unfortunately the incomes are not high enough to sustain a full-blown brand new construction and land cost,” director at the Office of Housing Marilyn Harris said.

The city is hoping to invest $21.2 million to fight evictions and homelessness.

“Our historical disinvestment in those neighborhoods really has caused problems so we are targeting those neighborhoods and we are listening to what the neighbors are saying,” Harris said.

Harris says they’re also working on a new proposal to create a community land trust to build roughly 20 new units on a land owned and managed by a local non-profit. 

“It’ll keep the cost lower than a developer would keep it,” Harris said. “We want to combat addiction and homelessness and we don’t want to cause a problem with any current homeowner.”

Mayor Fischer did not talk about a proposed timeline or how the initiatives will be funded but he acknowledged some of them will be a work in progress, even after his term ends in 2022.