Below are are our official comments on the Case 22-COA-0251, which proposes to destroy Yorktown Apartments—a 48-unit affordable housing building—for a parking lot for Louisville Collegiate School. There will be a public hearing on Wednesday, 11/30, at 4:30pm at the Metro Development Center (444 S. 5th Street, Room 101).
At the Coalition for the Homeless, we believe that housing is a human right.
Here in Louisville—and in other places across the country—homelessness is caused by a lack of housing.
We strongly believe that cities and their citizens have a moral responsibility to do what we can to prevent and end homelessness—even when it is not the most convenient choice.
Today, Louisville is short 31,000 units of affordable housing for the poorest Louisvillians: for a family of three, that’s an income of about $21,000 or less a year. These families either end up doubled up on family members’ couches or floors, sleeping in their cars, or paying nearly all of their monthly income on rent they cannot afford, leaving very little for food, transportation, medication, and other basic needs—which often leads to eviction when they have to pay another bill.
What we need in Louisville is not only to create more housing—a lot of it—but also to maintain the existing affordable units we have. Doing so prevents homelessness. To destroy affordable housing is to perpetuate homelessness.
While none of our clients are currently residents of Yorktown Apartments, we have had formerly homeless clients move off the streets to live in those units. And what we want you to understand is that the destruction of these properties to create parking for Collegiate isn’t just about the displacement of the current tenants—it’s about the removal of 48 units that are desperately needed in our community every single year. Our clients and other low-income Louisvillians regularly lose their housing vouchers simply because they could not find an affordable unit to rent.
Our city is facing a housing and homelessness crisis. It is an acute crisis, and the actions that we take and decisions we make have an impact on how bad it gets or whether it improves.
The Coalition for the Homeless stands firmly against the destruction of Yorktown Apartments for the creation of a parking lot. We ask Collegiate to strongly consider the withdrawal of this proposal and for the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee to reject it.
Please don’t pave affordable housing and put up a parking lot.