Sponsor: The Historically Black Neighborhood ordinance is meant to curb gentrification and keep low-income people from being displaced.
Spurred by mounting rent and home prices in Louisville in public and private investments within majority Black neighborhoods, a proposed ordinance would offer protections to residents.
The eight areas designated as historically Black named in the ordinance are: Berrytown, California, Limerick, Little Africa (parts of Chickasaw, Parkland and Park DuValle), Petersburg, Russell, Shawnee and Smoketown.
Democratic District Four Council Member Jecorey Arthur began work on the ordinance shortly after he took office in 2020. He represents Louisville’s downtown and parts of adjacent western neighborhoods.
“We’re trying to fight gentrification with this ordinance, and the only control we really have legislatively is the resources of the local government,” he stated. “If a developer wants to get resources from local government, they cannot displace you, or we are not helping them with that development.”
The ordinance is co-sponsored by District 3 Council Member Kumar Rashad (D), whose ward includes the independent municipality of Shively.
The ordinance prevents Louisville Metro Government from utilizing community resources for projects that could increase the cost of living in those neighborhoods.
It would also create an assessment mechanism to determine whether developments proposed in the designated areas could lead to displacement.
The assessment includes information on rent and home prices, as well as the income levels of certain customers targeted by area businesses.
If it is determined that the developments run the risk of increasing the cost of living in historically Black neighborhoods, they would not receive land, money or any other support from Louisville Metro Government.