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Louisville negotiating contract to send millions in ARP funding to housing

With $58 million left in ARP funding for Louisville, the city plans to use that towards workforce development.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville is in contract negotiations to devote millions in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for permanent housing projects across the city, officials said.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Greg Fischer announced about $32 million will be distributed among five organizations that help with more stable housing and productivity in people’s lives.

Those five organizations are:

  • John’s Center for the Homeless: $17.5 million for permanent supportive housing
  • Volunteers of America: $4.5 million for 18 units of permanent supportive housing that will be part of a development with 62 affordable housing units
  • Wellspring: $3.3 million to purchase and remodel units for permanent supportive housing
  • House of Ruth: $6.5 million for 40 units of permanent supportive housing
  • Choices: $120,000, for one house for permanent supportive housing

Fischer, council members and members of the non-profit organizations gathered for the big announcement.

"It's a moral imperative that we do this. It's also an economic imperative. It says these are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, we've got to be there to help," Fischer said.

But even with dozens of units both in the affordable and supportive housing realms, there is still a long way to go.

"We still need around there 28 to 30,000 homes, you know, that's four and a half billion dollars here in our city," Fischer said.

Rev. Stachelle Bussey said evolving with their tenants has been key in their success at The Hope Village.

She said announcements like this are a continued step in a promising direction.

"Gentrification is an issue right now, whether people want to talk about it or not. And so what we need to do to combat that is to be able to use this funding to create affordable housing, and sustainable affordable housing for people," Bussey said.

With $58 million left in ARP funding for Louisville, the city plans to use that towards workforce development.

"While I think it is a good plan to develop that, at the core of it, we still have to make sure that we have the programs and the resources to keep people in housing, right, to keep people working, right," Bussey said.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless' 2022 report, more than 10,000 people in Louisville experienced houselessness in 2021.

"Housing is a right," Rae Martin, executive director of St. John Center, said. "It is the first thing that we need to meet all the other basic needs. "In order to learn, to grow, to be physically and mentally well, people need housing."

She said this will be the first time the St. John Center, "will be creating supportive housing at a scale that will begin to address the need that the community has seen."

This is the fifth round of ARP funding by Fischer and Metro Council.

"If you don't have a place to call home a permanent place, to call home a sustainable place, to call home a consistent place to call home, you're the least safe person in the city of Louisville," Metro council member Jecorey Arthur (D-4) said.

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