Mayor Fischer joined by Metro Council members and community representatives as he signs ordinance allocating 2nd round of city’s s
Mayor Greg Fischer today was joined by Metro Council members and community representatives as he signed into law an ordinance allocating a second round of the city’s share of American Rescue Plan funds. That $182 million in spending will go to address critical challenges in public safety and homelessness, to build more affordable housing, to continue tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, and to recognize the efforts of public employees.
“In two days, Americans will settle into a holiday where we traditionally give thanks for the good things in our lives, the things for which we are grateful,” the Mayor said. “We’re starting a little early here in Louisville by formally assigning an infusion of critical federal funding to programs and efforts that will make all of us safer and healthier and will support our vulnerable residents by expanding opportunities and possibilities for them.”
Metro Council approved the spending on Nov. 11. Council Budget Chairman Bill Hollander said today: “This second round ordinance funds critical needs in the community – public safety improvements, public health efforts, and the thing the Council heard about most from constituents – investments in safe, decent, and affordable housing. This Thanksgiving week, I’m grateful for American Rescue Plan funds which will move Louisville forward.”
Council President David James said: “I am glad to have the opportunities presented by the Biden Administration to move our city forward. The programs supported through this second round of ARP funding will help create lasting change in Louisville.”
In remarks before signing the ordinance, Mayor Fischer agreed the infusion of funds will make “transformational differences … in lives and neighborhoods, in the most important of our city’s endeavors.”
Stressing that public safety is his No. 1 priority, he said “this funding builds on the whole-of-government work we are already doing to reduce violence and increase safety in every neighborhood.”
Specifically, the measure approved by Council includes $42.6 million for public safety, including:
- Violence prevention: $15.8 million to expand the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods’ (OSHN) current Violence Deterrence and Prevention programs that have proven outcomes and long-lasting impact.
- Public Safety Reforms: $17.5 million to address public safety reforms recommended by Hillard Heintze and ongoing reforms of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD).
- Juvenile Assessment Center: $1 million over three years to develop a Juvenile Assessment Center to receive and assess youth who have been detained pre-custody, in coordination with the court designated workers assessment process.
Family Recovery Court: The ordinance provides funding for Seven Counties Services to continue the Family Recovery Court for an additional year. This initiative is a collaborative, client-centered approach promoting coordination of care, accountability, and healthy outcomes for parents who are involved with the child welfare system and have a history of substance use.
Gun crime analysis: $117,000 to match a grant provided by Everytown for Gun Safety to hire a data fellow who will provide in-depth gun crime analysis.
LMPD Technology: $6 million to LMPD for new equipment and increased storage capacity.
Among those speaking at today’s event was Rose Smith, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, who spoke of the loss of her own son and the need for violence protection.
“The devastating gun violence in Louisville will only end when we take proactive steps to ensure that our city has the tools to fight it,” Smith said. “We are very pleased that Mayor Fischer is signing this American Rescue Plan ordinance, which includes significant funding for evidence-based violence intervention resources and services that will improve public safety and save lives in Louisville's hardest hit communities.”
The ordinance also includes $89 million to support the city’s plan to address chronic street homelessness and boost affordable housing through immediate, intermediate, and long-term solutions. That includes:
- Safe Outdoor Space: $1.5 million to provide 50 tents, portable facilities, water and electricity access, and supportive services at a new safe outdoor space pilot project at 212 E. College St.
- College Street Property: $7.5 million to make necessary improvements to start conversion of the building at College Street to create affordable housing units.
- Permanent Supportive Housing: $32 million for client-centered housing with wrap-around services.
- Affordable Housing: $40 million will be invested in affordable housing units through the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
- Down Payment Assistance: $4 million for Louisville Metro Government (LMG) to increase down payment assistance to help approximately 160 new homeowners.
- Home Repair: $4 million to boost an existing successful program that helps people stay in their homes; it would aid approximately 160 homeowners.
Councilman Jecorey Arthur said of the ordinance: “Thank you to the thousands of Louisvillians who provided input about how to spend these dollars. Because of your advocacy, we're about to house hundreds of families. Everyone should be proud of this.”
Eddie Alvis, a participant in the St. John Center’s permanent supportive housing program, and Cathy Kuhn, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, also spoke today about the impact of the funding.
"This exciting investment represents a growing recognition of how fundamental safe and stable housing is to the health and well-being of every Louisville resident," Kuhn said. "It is critical that we maximize the power of this one-time funding by ensuring ongoing investment in the construction of much needed housing units, while also disrupting intentionally discriminatory land use policies, creating greater housing opportunity and choice for all Louisville households."
Councilman Markus Winkler said, “The ARP funding presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our city. I am proud of this allocation for the many families in our community it will impact. From those on the front lines of the pandemic serving our community to those most in need of housing, this second round of ARP funding makes a significant investment in the people of our city.”
The remaining $93.4 million in second round funding is to be distributed for the priorities of premium pay and public health.
Mayor Fischer thanked Metro Council members for their support and partnership in prioritizing the ARP spending, noting that collaboration will continue as the city designates a third round of ARP funding (from the remaining $160 million) to address workforce development, healthy Louisville/healthy neighborhoods, the Office of Youth Development, Public Health contingencies, and more.
Overall, the ARP funding represents “an opportunity to take some of the things we hoped to do some day – and do them now,” he said. “Someday is here. Today. Right now.”
Louisville Metro Government was allocated $388 million in ARP Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, approved by Congress to meet the most urgent needs of communities across the country as they rebuild from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The first round of spending went to COVID-related emergency needs, including $45.2 million for Public Health and eviction prevention, and was approved by Metro Council in June.