Mayor Craig Greenberg Announces Historic Investments in Fight to Prevent & End Homelessness
Taking aim at one of the root causes of chronic homelessness, providing millions to keep families in their homes, and making historic investments in permanent affordable housing Mayor Craig Greenberg announced on Thursday a sweeping package to address homelessness in Louisville. Greenberg’s plan calls for $8.25 million in assistance to prevent homelessness, $24 million for the creation of permanent affordable housing and the creation of a new community care campus to address a major gap in the continuum of care for individuals experiencing homelessness.
“Moving as fast as possible, with partners across the entire city, we have been hard at work on solutions to ensure families in Louisville have the resources they need to remain in their homes. We will also create a unique healthcare delivery model which breaks through some of the leading factors behind chronic homelessness by providing wrap around care where it is needed most,” Greenberg said. “Today, instead of choosing between short-term and long-term solutions to this problem we are choosing to make a permanent difference and do both.”
Creation of Community Care Campus & Medical Respite FacilityStanding with partners from Norton Healthcare, UofL Health, Coalition for the Homeless, and others, Greenberg announced the creation of a new community care campus, located in the Smoketown neighborhood just East of I-65, which will provide medical respite care, temporary housing, connection to community services and more. This new facility will address a critical gap in the care of those experiencing homelessness to increase care, reduce hospital readmissions and assist with the transition to temporary or permanent housing.
A key component of this proposal is to create a medical respite facility that will be a safe place for hospitals to discharge patients experiencing homelessness who require ongoing medical support. This support could include, but is not limited to, assistance with wound care, physical therapy, IV antibiotics, as well as those who could benefit from home health services.
This facility will include additional resources to address both physical and mental health with 24/7 case management to provide connection and referrals to community resources. It will also include a temporary housing facility to bridge the gap between hospital discharge and the wait for a shelter bed or permanent housing, which takes an average of 90 days. This serves as a new solution to create a housing continuum within the healthcare continuum for people experiencing homelessness.
Greenberg announced on Thursday Metro Government has reached an agreement to purchase the property along East Breckinridge Street (bordered by Floyd and Brook Streets) for $6.9 million, which is below the property’s assessed value. Existing facilities on this property include the Vu Hotel and Guest House, the C2 Event Space, and additional ancillary buildings and green space.
A team, led by clinical care workers and non-profit partners, identified the space among multiple sites as best suited to provide a care continuum to accommodate patients who no longer require hospital-level care but still have on-going medical care needs. The space will provide centralized nursing stations, securely locked medical supplies and prescriptions, a kitchen, and laundry facilities.
“For more than a year Norton Healthcare has been partnering with U of L Health and the Coalition for the Homeless to redesign how Louisville can provide the best possible healthcare and support services to our patients who are experiencing chronic homelessness,” said Riggs Lewis, System Vice President Health Policy at Norton Healthcare. “By sharing our clinical data and solutions with the Coalition’s expertise we realized that, in partnership with Louisville Metro Government, we can help break a cycle that keeps too many trapped in homelessness. We’re proud of this collaboration and eager to get started with our newest partner in Louisville Metro Government.”
“We all understand that this is a crucial need for our community and U of L Health is happy and proud to support this effort because the positive health outcomes this program will create for an underserved community,” said Ken Marshall, Chief Operations Officer at U of L Health.
“The Coalition for the Homeless and our partners just released A New Path Home, our recommendations for preventing and addressing homelessness in Louisville,” said Natalie Harris, Executive Director of Coalition for the Homeless. “We see today's announcements as a first step in the right direction toward addressing these great challenges and we look forward to working together with the new administration and all the partners involved to realize a vision where we have enough shelter, housing, medical respite, and eviction prevention to meet our community needs.”
$8.25 Million in Assistance to Keep People In Their Homes
Also Thursday, Mayor Greenberg announced continued partnerships with two local nonprofits, which will begin deploying millions of dollars to local families for emergency eviction prevention efforts. The money comes from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, which was relocated by Governor Beshear to Louisville Metro Government.
Among the new nonprofit partners is the Louisville Urban League, which will receive $2 million in funding to be deployed beginning February 20th to families and individuals struggling to afford permanent housing. The Urban League Team will assist clients specifically with security deposits and the first month’s rent, two of the greatest barriers preventing renters from securing housing.
“The Louisville Urban League is glad to continue supporting our community by distributing rental deposit assistance,” said Urban League CEO Dr. Kish Cumi Price. “Providing funding for rental deposits is critical, but we know more housing stabilization resources and system reforms are needed as we face this affordable housing crisis.”
The Mayor also announced the Association of Community Ministries will be deploying $5 million in direct rental assistance to thousands of Louisville families and individuals facing eviction, specifically households which have already applied for assistance through the Healthy At Home Eviction Relief Fund. The ACM and its partners, spread across 13 local offices, have been spearheading efforts to prevent evictions in Louisville for more than three decades. The ACM has been the leading local service provider in eviction prevention efforts since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.
The remaining $1.25 million in eviction relief funding will go towards mediation assistance and legal fees for families and individuals navigating the complexities of eviction court.
Over the past two years Metro Government has distributed more than $130 million in eviction prevention assistance with much of the funding coming from the initial ERAP program enacted by Congress in December of 2020. Through existing partnerships with the Association of Community Ministries, the Urban League, and other nonprofits, more than 42,000 local households have avoided eviction since the start of 2021.
“We know that right now thousands of Louisville families are one or two missed paychecks away from landing in eviction court. Today’s announcement of more than $8 million in assistance will hopefully provide some much-needed relief to our neighbors who need it most,” Greenberg said. “Ensuring that every Louisvillian has a safe and affordable place to live is a top priority for this new administration and we appreciate these local nonprofit partners for stepping up to the plate so that this funding gets to these families as quickly as possible.”
$24 Million for Creation of Permanent Affordable Housing
In addition to rental assistance and the creation of a Community Care Campug Greenberg also announced the city would be making $24 million available for permanent affordable housing. Louisville Metro is seeking partners to help create new permanent housing opportunities for very low-income households at or below 50% AMI and below.
“In the long term, the only clear solution to our homelessness and affordable housing crisis is to build more homes and make sure they are accessible to low-income and working families,” Greenberg said. “While this is a significant investment that will change neighborhoods and improve lives, it is only one more step in providing the housing options Louisville needs. We’ll continue to work hard and explore every possible solution as we work to build stronger neighborhoods with more affordable housing.”
For those interested in applying for the NOFA that has been issued please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/housing.