Yes, I said it – the affordable housing crisis continues in Louisville, despite our concerted efforts. And by “our” I mean several organizations, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people, and a handful of legislators. After seven years of organizing and hard work, we still do not have a dedicated funding stream for the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund. As we near legislative deadlines, the funding stream will not begin this year either. As saddening and disheartening as this realization is, We Will Not Give Up!
We will not give up
The affordable housing crisis in Louisville continues to grow, continues to plague our children, our families, and our city’s health & moral compass. While the ordinance has not yet been introduced again that would create a dedicated funding stream of over $10 Million a year, we will not give up. Because almost 92,000 families in Louisville cannot afford their rent or mortgage, we will not give up. Affordable housing is the springboard from which the children of our city will succeed in their formative years, so we will not give up.
And because we cannot give up, we will continue to organize. We will continue to build a coalition of organizations and people who know just how important affordable housing is in Louisville and how lacking this is. We will continue to push back against legislators who either choose to ignore this crisis or who choose not to stand up for one of the most basic human needs. We will continue to fight against the opposition – those who would rather only corporations and the wealthy to get ahead. Until we win, we will press ahead in our mission – to have a dedicated funding stream for the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund of $10 million a year.
We Are Organizing
As I think about how far we have come in this fight and the long road ahead, it is the humanness of the people I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with that encourages me to move ahead. I think about Kamal, a former refugee from Bhutan & now a U.S. Citizen in Louisville who now works as a housing coordinator to find safe, affordable housing for current refuggees in Louisville. I can only imagine how difficult his job is, knowing the scarcity of affordable housing in Louisville. Kamal spoke to Louisville Metro Council on April 16th, 2015, reminding Council Members that “housing that meets this standard [safe, sanitary, & affordable] is really hard to find“. I hope that they listen to someone who works specifically to find affordable housing for clients in Louisville.
I am encouraged by friends such as Shelton, a champion of affordable housing in Louisville for many years. As I listened to Shelton testify before Louisville Metro Council a few days ago, tears formed in the corner of my eyes. The courage to tell part of his story from his childhood and the impact that affordable housing had on his future life reminded me that this is a crisis worth fighting for. Shelton’s brave words remind us all not to be fooled – “Those that oppose the passing of the ordinance funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in the name of conservatism would also create desolation and call it peace. They would allow the continued housing crisis to exist. Turn away from the homeless children in the overfilled shelters of Louisville.”
One of the groups of folks that we talk about often in relation to affordable housing in Louisville is children. Affordable housing can have huge impacts on the children of our city. Author, illustrator, educator, and parent Tytianna reminded Louisville Metro Council that children are suffering without affordable housing. As Tytianna said, “a lot of people in the community, such as myself work with young people who work in the housing projects, for instance Roots and Wings. We speak with these students, we speak with these young people, we speak with the parents to find out whats going on in the community… And they’re saying that ‘we need safe communities’.”
It’s Time For You To Jump In The Fight
It’s time for you to jump in the fight for the quest of affordable housing in Louisville. Over the next few weeks, we will be working to revise our timeline of action to meet the legislative calendars that we must work within to bring this dream to fruition. In the meantime, here are a few concrete things that you can do today:
- email Louisville Metro Council in support of a dedicated funding stream for the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund;
- join us on May 14th, 2015 at 5:45 pm for the Louisville Metro Council meeting;
- email me to join our team of speakers that will address Louisville Metro Council in support of affordable housing;
- encourage your organization, union, faith group, student group, and others to join the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in Louisville
- share this post of social media using the buttons below;
- “like” the LAHTF on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter; and
- as you communicate on social media about the affordable housing crisis, remember to use the hashtags #AffordableHousing and #Louisville.
Remember, we will not give up until the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund has a dedicated funding stream of over $10 Million per year so that we can combat the affordable housing crisis in Louisville.
Bonifacio Aleman, BSSW