Property values for our homeowners (except in Cloverleaf) are not increasing at the same rate as those in other areas of Jefferson County, or even nationally. In many cases, property values are dropping. This hurts our homeowners, including African American homeowners that still deal with the effects of past "red lining."
One reason why so many homes are not renovated is the lack of any return on their investment. Homeowners will not invest $10,000 into a new kitchen, when the value of the property does not increase. We must take steps, now, to bring up property values for our friends and neighbors, to encourage rehabilitation, as well as attract commerce and new residents. Additionally, increasing property values will help bring wealth to those that have been hurt by discriminatory practices in the past.
Making all of our neighbhorhoods more attractive to home buyers serves as a free-market mechanism to desegregate and diversify our communities. Forced desegregation has never, and will never work. A free market approach is always the most effective approach. You would think we would have learned our lesson after the failure of the 1950s urban renewal projects. Apparently, the same establishment responsible for destroying African American neighborhoods in the 1950s is destroying our neighborhoods in the 21st century. I will not stop until our district is affluent, safe, and more beautiful than ever before.
Part of this solution is to attack the heroin and pill epidemic ravaging our district. Drugs, and the peripheral crime that comes with it, destroys neighborhoods. That decay deters investment, home buyers, commerce, jobs and rehabilitation. While I empathize with the plight of those struggling with addiction, neither disease nor affliction grants a license for lawlessness and other behavior that harms others. We deserve better!
District 15 has some of the hardest-working citizens in all of Metro Louisville. Yet, their property resale/equity values are devastated by illegal dumping, dilapidated structures, absentee property owners, failure to maintain, and a lack of economic investment into our community. I will use some of the district's infrastructure funds to hire another code enforcement officer to assist with bringing a higher quality of life and value to our residents. We will use education and encouragement, and if necessary, I will employ every legal means to enforce our current codes and property standards. We deserve much better.
Our district is home many of our city's most recognizable attractions: Churchill Downs, University of Louisville, Kentucky Fair and Expo Center, Papa Johns and Jim Patterson Stadiums, Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, and even two interstate highways. Yet, for example, there are no Target or Old Navy stores, Olive Garden Restaurants or other popular establishments. We have few restaurant, banking and even personal grooming options. We deserve better!
There is basically zero commercial development around Churchill Downs for residents, or for visitors to frequent after races. Our district is barren of mainstream commercial investment, and has been for decades. I will work and succeed in bringing more businesses, establishments, and jobs to our district.
4th Street between Winkler and Central is a haven for drugs, prostitution and violence. That area is located between Churchill Downs and the University of Louisville, and two college sports stadiums. Our current leadership has failed to attract commercial development to its well-deserving residents in this easily accessible and prime location. 4th Street should be filled with commercial development to improve our quality of life, improve property values and create jobs for our friends and neighbors.
We have acres of land sitting dormant, or misused, especially in the Hazelwood area, which would be perfect for a Target, Meijer, Olive Garden, Marriott Courtyard, as well low mixed income housing near the 4 and 6 bus routes). This type of investment in our district would improve lives by attracting establishments for our residents to live, eat, shop, play, as well as work.
Additionally, since the east end does not want the new VA Hospital, District 15 would make a great place. We have the land, great people, and would welcome such a facility with open arms.
Jobs and increased property values bring wealth and lower crime rates to communities; our current leadership has failed to do so; their chosen successor will also fail. We deserve better. I will succeed where they have failed.
Our hard-working, law abiding friends and residents are punished by our leadership's inability to combat crime in our area. This leads to much higher insurance rates for all of our residents and businesses. We deserve better. In addition to a more vigorous approach to fighting crime, I will work directly with insurance companies to lower our insurance rates.
Low income housing should not serve as a generational, long term solution. Instead, it should exist as avenue, a temporary haven, to set up our valued friends and fellow citizens for better things to come. While I feel strongly that we must improve property values, I also feel that we must address the topic of, and provide affordable housing options.
Harvard economics professor Dr. Edward Glaeser accurately details why the economically challenged live in urban areas in his book "Triumph of the City." Dr. Glaeser states that the "poor" are in search of services, such as affordable housing, public transportation, affordable health care, and grocery stores that are in close proximity. Public transportation is their lifeline.
Our district is the home of an above average percentage of residents that do not own or have access to an automobile. Yet, much of our affordable housing is not located near current public transportation routes.
Additionally, Dr. Glaeser states that massing the poor together in one area only exacerbates the misery. I'd suggest that many of the low income apartments or houses are in very poor condition, and most people reading this would not want to reside there.
I am for, as part of bringing a big box store and other commercial development to the Hazelwood home site, razing substandard low income housing that are located in predominantly single family areas, rezoning those areas to single family units, rebuilding those properties with attractive, single family units that will increase property values for all peripheral areas, and relocating affordable housing to areas closer to grocery stores, bus routes and employers.
By relocating public housing away from food desserts and closer to areas with jobs and transportation, we will also help those that are struggling with their recovery from addition. We must help succeed those that have make the commitment to be successful.
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