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Community groups say Louisville is taking steps in the right direction to improve affordable housing

The company said the decision to launch the program was driven in part by a "lack of strategic focus" to address the housing crisis in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new comprehensive plan is set to provide affordable housing and services to several Louisville communities.

According to the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the city is short about 30,000 units of affordable housing. To help meet this need, LDG Development is proposing its LOU 2.2 Housing Program.

More than 2,000 housing units will be created through the program, including 1,300 units for low-income families.

The company said the decision to launch the program was driven in part by a "lack of strategic focus" to address the housing crisis in Louisville.

"For more than a decade, Louisville has seen the number of affordable housing units needed and the number of families who lack access to high-quality housing continue to grow," said Chris Dischinger, the co-founder and principal of LDG Development.

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The organization will create 10 multi-family communities across Louisville to help meet the needs of the diverse families in the city. According to a press release from the company, specific units will be available for families living in certain financial brackets - called area median incomes (AMI).

337 units - 30% AMI (avg. income of $23,050 for a family of 4)
525 units - 60% AMI (avg. income of $46,140 for a family of 4)
473 units - 80% AMI (av. income of $61,500 for a family of 4)

Families living in the housing units will also have access to health services through a partnership with Norton Healthcare as well as educational services provided by EVOLVE 502.

“Improving one’s health and helping residents achieve their educational goals can change the trajectory of a family for generations to come,” said Dischinger.

Christie McCravey, with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, said it's uncommon for private companies to independently launch affordable housing programs, but that it is a crucial move in changing the housing landscape. 

“Usually there has to be some kind of incentive from the government," she said. 

McCravey said the development, along with city investments in affordable housing using ARP funds, have been recent steps in the right direction.

She said unfortunately when it comes to housing, immediate change is difficult. 

“In the next five years, you will see a different footprint here in Louisville. There will be more affordable housing, we will have made a dent," she said. 

In a statement, Jeff O'Brien, chief of Louisville Forward, wrote: “It is together in partnership with advocates, nonprofits, the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Metro Council, and developers that we will move the needle toward expanding our affordable housing inventory and close the more than 31,000-unit gap in affordable housing that our city currently faces. We applaud the work LDG Development and others have done to create safe and stable housing for all Louisvillians.”

In a separate statement, Tony Curtis with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition wrote: "These investments align with Plan 2040, Louisville's 20-year plan for the built environment, and show the need for comprehensive Land Development Code Reform to create more attainable housing through higher-density developments, missing middle housing, and ultimately inclusionary zoning. This will in turn give all Louisvillians, in all parts of our community, greater access housing choice and housing opportunity. This is a citywide crisis that needs a citywide solution."

Dischinger said a review of the program is underway and the organization is planning to break ground on five of the 10 sites by the end of the year. The first housing community should be open and welcoming residents by 2024.

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