Louisville, KY

Residents of Riverside Meadows told they have to move out

October 31, 2014
They're elderly, low-income and some have mental delays -- and they're the collateral damage in a property owner's fight with the city of Jeffersonville.
     Earlier this week, we told you about Riverside Meadows and how its 11 residents might lose their homes. On Friday, we learned that forced relocation is one step closer to reality. Resident Darrenda Stepro says she doesn't know where she's going to go.
     "I really couldn't tell you, I really couldn't tell you," she said.
     Stepro's worst fear lingers dangerously close to reality. Riverside Meadows lost its zoning appeal with the city of Jeffersonville, meaning residents of the shared living facility must move out. The city says the property owners moved Stepro and 10 others in illegally after their first zoning application was denied last year.

Elderly and low income Jeffersonville neighbors caught in zoning fight

October 15, 2014
Elderly and low income neighbors in Jeffersonville are caught in the middle of a zoning fight that could force them out of their home.
     Martha Russelburg is a 66-year-old widow living on $1,100 a month social security. She survives sharing a house with 10 other people, called Riverside Meadows. "I feel like this is my family," said Russelburg.
     Darrenda Stepro is a member of that family, a neighbor who shares Russelburg's love of the residence. "It's convenient and nice and I love it," said Stepro. "It's everything I can expect it to be." These neighbors now worry about eviction, because the property owner moved them in illegally. "I'd probably be living under a bridge," Stepro said.
     The city of Jeffersonville rejected Riverside Meadows' zoning permit to run an assisted living home. The owners previously ran a similar facility that closed after the building had problems with the heat. They transferred all the residents who didn't require medical care to Riverside Meadows.

Louisville’s rental market is thriving, which means evictions are rising, too

September 29, 2014
Traditionally, Louisville has not had a renter’s culture. As the city expanded, people here tended to embrace the American dream of home ownership, suburban lawns, tax-deductible mortgage interest and the security of a solid, ever-appreciating asset.
     Then the mortgage crisis that precipitated the recession in 2008-09 changed all that. That ever-appreciating asset depreciated. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, auction sales, tight credit, unemployment, sinking job prospects and dwindling retirement accounts drove many former homeowners to turn to renting.
     And a younger generation, reaching adulthood during the recession, either can’t afford to buy a house, can’t qualify for a mortgage, or isn’t even interested.

Civil Rights Exhibit Recalls 1954 Louisville House Bombing, Braden Sedition Trial

September 23, 2014
A new exhibit opening this week at the Louisville Free Public Library marks the 60th anniversary of a landmark episode in the civil rights movement that happened in Louisville.
      Anne Braden in 1954 Credit Wikimedia Commons Called “Black Freedom, White Allies and Red Scare: Louisville 1954,” the exhibit is curated by the University of Louisville’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research.
     Executive Director Cate Fosl says 1954 was the year that white civil rights activists led by Carl and Anne Braden bought a home on behalf of the Wades, an African American family that had been trying to locate in a neighborhood in what is now the Shively community.
     "The Wades were greeted the night they moved in with a cross burned, the front windows of their home shot out, and there was a steady campaign of harassment that included things large and small," Fosl said.

Researchers to host exhibit sixty years after family's home attacked

September 08, 2014
Six decades ago a family's home was attacked in a neighborhood ripped apart by racism. Now, researchers at the University of Louisville are retelling the story about two families and their fight for desegregation and need the public's help.
     Sixty years ago a white couple, Anne and Carl Braden, were put on trail accused of helping a black couple buy a home as part of a communist plot.
     "In order to take land from whites and seed it to blacks to usher in a soviet, socialist United States," said Cate Fosl, with the Anne Braden Institute.
     The night the black couple, Andrew and Charlotte Wade, moved into the Shively home a white cross burned in the yard, their windows were shattered by bullets and later dynamite destroyed part of the home.
     "The dynamite was set right underneath their daughter's bedroom," Fosl said.
     The Wade's were not harmed, but decided to leave. They moved to the city's west end.

Louisville man accused of painting racist comments on neighbor’s fence

September 03, 2014
A Louisville man is behind bars Wednesday after allegedly painting racist comments on his neighbor's fence and even threatening his life.
     Douglas Poynter, 51, was arrested Tuesday and remains at Metro Corrections on $10,000 cash bond. He’s charged with menacing, terroristic threatening, wanton endangerment, harassment, criminal trespassing and arson.
     It happened over Labor Day weekend, when Jesus Alamo says he came home with his wife and children. Alamo has lived in his south Louisville home for just a few months and in that time, he says his neighbor, Poynter, has shown two sides to him: a generous man who would help anyone in need, including Jesus. But Alamo says it becomes a different story when this neighbor begins to drink.

Louisville man accused of racist rant, attempted arson and threatening 22-month-old

September 03, 2014
Louisville Metro Police say they've arrested a man who terrorized his Hispanic neighbors.
     According to an arrest warrant, the trouble started on Aug. 31, on Lipps Lane, off Preston Highway. Police say a Hispanic family was arriving home when they noticed that their neighbor, 51-year-old Douglas Poynter, had painted the words "KKK wants you to burn" on the side of his fence, facing their house.
     Poynter also had erected a cross with the word "burn" written underneath it, police say.
     According to the arrest warrant, he was still standing in his yard -- covered in paint -- when the family arrived. When they asked him why he would do this, Poynter allegedly swore at them yelling, "F____ you. F_____ all you immigrants."

Housing Authority approves rent reform study

August 20, 2014
Some Section 8 Louisville recipients will soon be asked to begin paying a minimum rent of $50 a month.
     The board of commissioners for the Louisville Metro Housing Authority unanimously approved a rent reform study Tuesday that will initiate a minimum rent for selected residents for the first time. However, unlike the controversial original proposal, those selected will be able to opt out.
     The authority originally proposed a rent reform study that included a $75 minimum rent, did not allow recipients to opt out of the study, and stripped those participating of all deductions including the one parents can use for childcare that can lower the level of income used to determine their rent.
     The revised rent reform study allows residents to opt out, reduces the minimum rent by $25, and excludes those who currently receive the childcare deduction from the group eligible for the study. About 10 percent of those eligible for the study currently receive the deduction.

Boarding house violations plague West Louisville neighborhoods

July 30, 2014
Metro Council members said they will pursue new zoning rules that require boarding house operators to get a license as neighbors complain the group homes continue to plague West Louisville.
     A WAVE 3 News investigation revealed that several West End boarding house owners this summer have received citations or orders to fix multiple safety and building code violations.
     Boarding houses don’t need a license and, in many cases, a permit to operate. It’s what the director of Metro Codes and Regulations called “a very unregulated environment” and has prompted neighbors to demand action from city officials.
     “We’re just letting this influx of all these different, negative attitudes come into our neighborhoods, and we’re sitting by and letting it happen,” said Carolyn Anthony, who lives in the Chickasaw neighborhood.

Section 8 experiment under review

July 22, 2014
The Louisville Metro Housing Authority is reevaluating a plan that would implement a $75 monthly rent for randomly selected Section 8 participants after housing advocates called the proposed study unfair.
     The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development asked the housing authority to participate in the study, which is designed to stretch public housing dollars and encourage more household heads to get jobs.
     Families who take part in the study wouldn't be at risk of a rent increase for three years, even if their pay increased.
     But the experiment is being criticized for randomly selecting the participants, who wouldn't get a chance to opt out unless they can demonstrate a hardship.


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