New homes planned for southwest Louisville

Joined by non-profit housing developers, Mayor Jerry Abramson unveiled plans for a new neighborhood of single-family homes in southwest Louisville that will replace what was once a multi-family housing area. The community is set to be built along Boxelder Road off Cane Run Road, where construction will begin sometime in 2011.

There are several debilitated buildings in the area formerly known as Ridgemont Terrace, which the Mayor’s Office says have been vacant and blighted for a number of years. Utilizing the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Grant Funds, the multi-family housing buildings will be demolished and replaced with 38 single-family homes of two and three-bedroom design including first floor master bedrooms and baths.

“Providing affordable homes in all neighborhoods around the community, gives families a real choice of where they want to live, which improves the quality of life for all residents of our city,” Abramson said in a news release.

The new homes will range in price from $115,000 to $150,000 with subsidies available for eligible buyers.  All homes will be Energy Star rated and will utilize green building practices, making the new homes energy efficient.

The announcement comes off the heels of an annual report released by the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, which once again rings an alarm about the lack of housing — rented or owned — that is reasonably priced for middle-class families. The non-profit group also showed that home ownership has dropped citywide from 67.7 percent in 2009 to 73.4 percent in 2002.

From Red zones:

One culprit behind the city’s housing crisis is its zoning regulations. The report says they promote economically and racially segregated neighborhoods, and that the city should do more to protect against discrimination.

Cathy Hinko, executive director of the coalition, says less than 6 percent of the land in Jefferson County is zoned multi-family residential, which is commonly a more affordable housing classification.

Zip codes with the highest percentage of multi-family zoning are all in west Louisville and make up more than 50 percent of the city’s black population. Zip codes in which 80 percent of the land is zoned single-family residential had an average black population of less than 3 percent and a median household income of $59,309.

The Mayor’s Office points out that both the developer, Housing Partnership, Inc., and designer, The Weber Group, a local building firm, have a history and passion about building affordable housing units.

“With today’s foreclosure crisis, it is vital that we turn some of the most distressed, blighted housing in the city into beautiful affordable home ownership opportunities,” Mike Hynes, President of HPI said in a news release. “These homes will dramatically transform this neighborhood and will be a great addition to the renewed development that has been happening along Cane Run Road for the last couple of years.”