Louisville Housing Experiment

Posted by: Shavaun Evans on July 10, 2014

Think government-controlled experiments on our nation’s poor are a thing of the past?

Think again.

Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) recently announced its plans to participate in a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsored “study” that experiments on one of our city's most vulnerable populations: low-income people of color. The study focuses on Housing Choice Vouchers, a federal voucher program that assists low-income families in renting safe and affordable housing. If left up to HUD and LMHA, voucher users in Louisville and Lexington will soon be enrolled in a lottery – one where chosen participants will face higher monthly rent payments, receive no rent deductions for critical items like childcare and medical expenses, and worst of all, have NO option to opt out.

Louisville and Lexington Housing Authorities volunteered to participate in this study. Kentuckians have the chance to stop it before it starts.

  • LMHA will meet Tuesday, July 15 at 3:30pm to vote on whether or not to allow this study in Louisville. Join KFTC members and allies at this meeting to voice your oppositionto the study, urging LMHA members to VOTE NO on Louisville’s participation. The meeting will take place at the LMHA Office, 420 S 8th St. Louisville, KY 40203.
  • Submit comments on the study to Sarah Laster (slaster@lmha1.org502-569-4471, 420 S. 8th Street, Louisville, KY 40203) by July 13. Take a look at the full proposal online and reference these talking pointsto help prepare your comments. Also check out this Leo article for some background info.
  • Write a letter to the editor to the LEO Weekly or Courier Journal. Take a look at KFTC’s online guide for writing a letter to the editor and reference our newspaper contact info before you submit your letter.

We have a small window of opportunity to stop this experiment in its tracks. Please join us in telling the Louisville Metro Housing Authority that we, as Kentuckians, deserve better. 

Thank you for taking action!

Talking points on "Rent Reform Study" (written by Louisville Showing Up For Racial Justice)

1)  Louisville is choosing to participate in a HUD rent reform study that overwhelmingly impacts on low income Black (90%) mothers in public housing. 

2)  HUD asked several cities to participate in a "Rent Reform Study Addendum to the Housing Choice Voucher Program", and many others declined to do so.  Louisville and Lexington are among the few participating.

3)  Implication is that making the conditions to get subsidized housing more painful will force more of these women to seek employment.  The cultural assumption is that these women just do not want to work.

4)  Targets lowest income Black mothers (at a LMHA hearings on June 4, and June 26 the full room was overwhelmingly Black women:  African American native born and African immigrants.) 

5)  The 1000 who will be part of the study do not have the right to opt out.  They do not choose to be part of this. This may violate Institutional Review Board principles which require informed consent.  

6)  We are going from NO minimum rent to $75 (There was to be a $100 minimum rent but under pressure LMHA agreed to reduce to $75.) A hardship waiver obscures who will get hurt as some will be exempt under that waiver, but as housing advocates have pointed out, the procedure for hardship is cumbersome, temporary and undermines the experiment.  

7)  Deductions for child care are taken away.  Child care deduction is an incentive to help support women who work.  If we want people to work, why would we take away the ability to deduct childcare costs? This could place children in more at risk situations.

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VISION Smoketown – by Elijah McKenzie

Posted by: Elijah McKenzie on July 9, 2014

Change abounds in the city of Louisville. As bike lanes begin to appear on familiar neighborhood streets, arrangements are being made to bring a Wal-Mart Supercente

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The journey to pass Fairness in Danville

Posted by: KFTC on July 2, 2014

On the evening of June 9, the city of Danville became the 7th city in Kentucky to pass a local LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance when the Danville City Commission approved a Fairness ordinance with a 4-1 vote. It was a long road to get there, one that local members of the Wilderness Trace KFTC chapter started walking back in 2012, shortly after the chapter officially formed.

Leading the way to pass Fairness in Danville were local KFTC members, Jane Brantley and Eric Mount. Well before their work on Fairness in Danville, both Jane and Eric worked in various ways for LGBT equality, from urging legislators to oppose the same-sex marriage amendment in 2004 (this amendment was recently ruled unconstitutional) to supporting their churches moving forward for LGBT equality. It wasn’t until 2012 that they felt moved to work for a Fairness ordinance in Danville.

 “I became aware that cities in Kentucky were beginning to examine passage of local Fairness ordinances,” said Jane. “When the small town of Vicco in eastern Kentucky passed its ordinance, I thought, ‘Why not Danville? After all, we’re supposed to be the City of Firsts. We need to get busy.”

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STAY Together Appalachian Youth 4th Annual Summer Institute

Posted by: Tanya Turner on June 30, 2014

The STAY (Stay Together Appalachian Youth) Project will host the 4th Annual STAY Summer Institute (SSI) from July 31st to August 3rd at Camp Bethel in Wise, VA.  SSI is STAY's largest gathering of the year and is open to 14-30 year old's from Central Appalachia, including eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, West Virginia, southwest Virginia, and western North Carolina. The STAY Project is a diverse regional network of young people throughout Central Appalachia who are working together to advocate for and actively participate in their home mountain communities. STAY is about the need for communities now and in the future to have the basic human rights that everyone deserves no matter where they live, their economic background, their race, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or cultural background.

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Many accomplishments celebrated at Shelby chapter annual meeting

Posted by: Shane Ashford on June 24, 2014

Music, food and new faces highlighted the second annual chapter meeting of Shelby County KFTC Chapter on June 19. More than 30 members and friends attended, including at least 10 who are new to chapter meetings.

Almost half of the chapter’s 67 members were present to review the organization’s platform and to celebrate work accomplished over the past year, as well as to discuss work to come. The scene was energetic and welcoming at the unassuming Stratton Community Center in Shelbyville, where a delicious spread was bracketed by homemade pies. The pies fueled much conversation and inspiration for the group’s upcoming pie auction in September.

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Central Kentucky KFTC Holds 2014 Annual Chapter Meeting

Posted by: Beth Howard on June 20, 2014

The Central Kentucky Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth held their Annual Chapter Meeting on Thursday, June 19th at the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library.CKY Annual Chapter Meeting Group

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth's Annual Membership Meeting will be held August 22nd - 24th in Carrollton, KY at General Butler State Park. Every year leading up to the annual meeting, each chapter of KFTC holds a special meeting to elect leadership, provide feedback about KFTC's issue platform, and vote whether to remain a chapter. These meetings are an important part of KFTC's democratic process. They provide a time to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments, set new goals, and engage all interested members in building a strong grassroots organization. 

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Kentuckians want better protection than what's in the general permit

Posted by: KFTC staff on June 19, 2014

Members of KFTC and ally groups asked state officials to care about the quality of the water where they live, and recognize its importance for social and economic activity, during a public hearing

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Jefferson County KFTC celebrates another great year at the annual chapter meeting

Posted by: Ryan Fenwick on June 13, 2014

The June 9th Jefferson County annual chapter meeting brought together 30 new and old KFTC members for the annual chapter potluck. 

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Modest clean air goals and better health bring loud howls

Posted by: KFTC staff on June 13, 2014

2010_06_13 Cane Run Rd. coal plant and coal ash landfill--bethb (2)

Kentuckians would realize tremendous health benefits from significant cuts in power plant pollution. Proposed EPA air pollution limits would require Kentucky to cut carbon pollution only by 18.3% by the year 2030 – a very modest and achievable goal. Yet many of our politicians and candidates are howling against the EPA proposal and ignoring the billions of dollars in health benefits.

Here's a KFTC statement in response to the EPA announcement.

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General permit for coal falls short, June 18 hearing set

Posted by: KFTC staff on June 3, 2014

A public hearing will take place on June 18 to receive comments on proposed drafts of the state’s General Permit for Coal Mining.

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KFTC's Voter Empowerment work in the primary election and beyond

Posted by: Enchanta Jackson on May 29, 2014

Just as no two regions of Kentucky are identical neither are KFTC chapters’ voter empowerment work. Across Kentucky KFTC members prepared to get out the vote during the primary election with activities including registering voters, tabling events, canvassing door-to-door and phone banking.

Chapters were very creative about how they encouraged voters to exercise their voice in our democracy. The Jefferson County chapter organized an amazing Bike the Vote event that brought out a fun, diverse crowd. The chapter also canvassed the Smoketown neighborhood to talk to residents about housing and development issues while also encouraging them to vote.

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