Louisville, KY

Louisville residents weigh in on housing discrimination, desires

December 18, 2015
A new report sheds light on how housing discrimination endures in Louisville, and how residents would like the issue to be addressed.
     The federally funded report was released Friday by the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. It looks at focus groups with more than 60 Louisville residents from protected classes as outlined by the federal 1968 Fair Housing Act and local anti-discrimination laws.
     Participants were asked to discuss what they like and dislike about their neighborhood, what they would change, and where they would live if affordable housing was available across the city.

Few rental units available for Louisville’s new refugees

June 23, 2015
NEWS | Catholic Charities, Cathy Hinko, Dana Duncan, John Koehlinger
     JUNE 23, 2015 6:00 AM Email Print
     inShare 1 Few rental units available for Louisville’s new refugees by David Serchuk
     Image from Kentucky Refugee Ministries Image courtesy Kentucky Refugee Ministries Louisville’s tight rental market is leaving few housing units available for new refugees, leading one of the city’s top aid groups in a scramble to place new refugees and in search of a more permanent fix — including working with Metro government on a proposal to build new, refugee-specific transitional housing.
     Kentucky Refugee Ministries Executive Directer John Koehlinger said there could be a severe shortage in housing for the city’s incoming refugees as soon as two years from now.
     “The problem is saturation,” he said. “We fill the complex, people renew their leases, and there are fewer and fewer vacant apartments for our new arrivals.”

Housing discrimination ‘uniquely damaging’

April 23, 2015
This year commemorates the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Fair Housing Act as well as the Kentucky Fair Housing law, both of which were passed in 1968. Because of these laws, housing discrimination is illegal.
     Housing discrimination is uniquely damaging in that it takes away a person’s sense of safety in his or her own home. It is important that all of us as responsible members of society remain vigilant in addressing both the blatant and subtle forms of housing discrimination that tear at the national fabric.
     Because of the Fair Housing Act and Kentucky’s Fair Housing Law, it is unlawful to discriminate against any person who seeks to rent or own housing, based on the person’s color, disability, familial status (whether one lives with children under 18 years of age of whether a woman living in the household is pregnant), national origin, race, religion or sex. Federal and Kentucky fair housing laws provide equal opportunity to all people when buying, selling, renting, financing or insuring housing. People have the right to buy or rent where they choose a home, condominium, apartment, trailer or lot. Everyone must obey the law, including property owners, property managers, real estate brokers, sales agents, operators, builders and developers, advertisers and advertising media, mortgage lenders, insurers, and banks or other financial institutions.

Does half of Louisville really live in ‘EXTREME SEGREGATION’?

February 04, 2015
No… or maybe. Either way we have a problem with residential segregation that we need to address.
     Earlier this month the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission released an action plan for fair housing that lays out steps for improving access to housing and increasing housing choice for the people of Louisville. The plan pulls together a lot of great thinking on policies for minimizing discrimination in housing and is prefaced by a really interesting look at the housing history of Louisville. The report was put together by the great folks at the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research with work on the action steps by the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.
     As a community, we need tools that make the case for why action on fair housing is so important for Louisville– so I understand why the action plan puts a particular statistic front and center – 45% percent of Louisville residents live in extreme racial segregation – a statistic like this is very powerful and speaks to very real experiences – it makes for a really great sound bite or headline – the only problem is that the underlying data is from almost 15 years ago (continued below the map).
     

Mapping the future while preserving the past in Louisville’s most historic black neighborhood

January 27, 2015
Pamela Hines wants big changes for west Louisville’s historic Russell neighborhood.
     Hines, who lives in Parkland, opened Sweet Peaches restaurant next to the African-American Heritage Center at 18th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in February 2014. But nearly a year in, the first-time business owner is getting anxious about the lack of growth and progress in the West End.
     “Nothing has changed,” she says. “It’s all the same as far as no new businesses and boarded-up houses. I haven’t seen anyone else come, and I don’t think there’s anyone outside myself who has taken a chance.”
     Attracting entrepreneurs and new private capital are among the goals of city and federal officials, and civic leaders, who proudly announced earlier this month that Louisville was one of six cities to receive a federal Choice Neighborhood planning grant.

Opinion: Combating neighborhood divisions along racial lines

December 15, 2014
Perhaps as a historical accident, many years ending with the number 4 have a remarkable civil rights significance. For example, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964. Ten years before that, another civil rights milestone was reached. The 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education began the long process of desegregation in public schools.
     Integration didn’t happen overnight, however. In the 1950s and 1960s, children attended schools which reflected the demographic makeup of their neighborhoods. In the “integrated” Seneca High School Class of 1962 , for example, there were fewer than 20 African-Americans out of a total of 250 students. Not coincidentally, the Bon Air neighborhood in which Seneca is located was nearly 100 percent white at the time.
     By the 1970s, decades of racist housing policies – both private and public – had carved the city of Louisville into racial enclaves. African-Americans were pushed out of downtown into the West End by urban renewal, and whites had fled south and east, insulated by banks and home builders who refused to sell suburbia to anyone else. As a result, schools in Louisville remained “de facto” segregated long after Brown.

Editorial | Our racial divide

December 09, 2014
The racial divide continues in America, particularly over the two recent, high-profile cases of deaths of African-American men at the hands of white police officers.
     A recent study by the Pew Research Center found attitudes about the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York broke sharply along racial lines, with African Americans far more likely than white Americans to object to the decision of grand juries in both cases not to indict the police officers involved.
     Eighty percent of blacks dispute the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer in the Brown case, compared to 64 percent of whites who thought the grand jury was right. In the Garner case, 90 percent of blacks and 47 percent of whites disagreed with the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer.
     In Louisville, a persistent racial divide carries over into segregation by race and income.

Remembering the Wades, the Bradens and the Struggle for Racial Integration in Louisville

December 01, 2014
This year, many in Louisville have been marking the anniversary of a touchstone event of the Civil Rights era.
     It started 60 years ago when white activists, led by Carl and Anne Braden purchased a home on behalf of a young black family.
      Andrew, Charlotte and Rosemary Wade stand on the front porch of their new home in Shively the day after someone hurled a rock through the front window.
     Credit Al Blunk / The Courier-Journal That act touched off weeks of racial violence and led to serious criminal charges against the activists.
     

Lawsuit pits the Anchorage against home for abused children

November 14, 2014
Home to more than 50 abused or neglected orphans, the Uspiritus Bellewood campus is being sued by the City of Anchorage.
     "I was shocked and the biggest reaction was how am I going to tell my kids that possibly someone doesn't want them again," said Uspiritus CEO Abby Drane.
     Drane says she found out about the lawsuit in mid-October, but Friday was the day they told the children about the lawsuit which she believes aims to evict their organization for future development of the land.
     "They asked questions like, did we cause this, why don't they consider us a good neighbor, are we going to have a home, where will we go if we don't have this home," said Drane. "It appears to me that there are some city council members that are claiming that they fearful for the residents of the City of Anchorage from what our children could possibly do to them, but I am really confused about that because there hasn't been any claims by any of the city residents."

Woman builds ramps for those in need in her community

November 07, 2014
A complete stranger is coming to the aid of someone she had never met. What Brenda Daisy saw everyday was enough to make her say she had to do something. Sometimes it's the things you see at a red light that can shape someone's life.
     Daisy said, "One day, I sat at the red light as the handicapped bus had all the traffic stopped, and I turned to my 16-year-old daughter and said, 'can you imagine how hard things are for her?'"
     Daisy travels the intersection at 32 Street and Garland Avenue in West Louisville every day to take her child to school.
     "She looked at me and said, 'you and dad can build her a ramp', and I said, 'yes we can'," Daisy said.

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