Housing Report Shows Continued Trends, Zoning Issues

The head of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition says institutional changes must be made to stop the spread of homelessness in Louisville. The statement coincides with the coalition’s latest housing report.

This year’s report shows increases in the number of foreclosures, families seeking housing assistance, and homeless children in public schools.

The numbers partially reflect the hard economic times. But coalition director Cathy Hinko says they’re part of a trend that began before the recession.

“We have to look at some other factors, not just this recession, to see why we were having these trends long before this crisis hit,” she says. “And until we do, we’re not going to be really able to change those trends.”

Hinko says one way to stop the increases is to change how residential areas are zoned.

“Seventy-five percent of the land is zoned single family, and of that, the vast majority is zoned R-4, which absolutely precludes affordable housing altogether. So we have to look at the bones, the skeleton,” she says.

Hinko says another way to decrease homeless is to mandate that affordable housing units be built into new housing developments.