New housing ordinance could protect former criminals, homeless, more

New housing ordinance could protect former criminals, homeless and more

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new ordinance proposed by the Louisville Metro Council’s Health and Education Committee may have a major impact on the housing market.

The ordinance would prevent property owners from denying housing to people who have arrest or conviction history, are homeless, qualify for Section 8 vouchers, or have served in the military.

It’s an idea that has realtors like Mike Butler frustrated. Butler is the owner of Vista Properties and said that the new ordinance will take money out of his pocket.

“It’s going to pull down the neighborhood," Butler said. "It’s going to decrease property values.”

Butler says he has a few concerns, starting with Section 8. He said he worked with the organization for years, but stopped in 2016 because he doesn’t think it does its job.

“Their mission statement is to help folks, okay," Butler said. "The leadership of their local Section 8 office has totally ignored that.”

He’s also concerned about what he called enabling the homeless population.

“If somebody has a pattern of being homeless and no income and just not responsible then why does the city want to force rental property owners to accept them," Butler said.

Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green sponsored the ordinance and said that’s not what it’s designed for.

“These individuals should be able to have the right if they want to live elsewhere to be able to do that,” Green said.

That statement is why she included exceptions to the rules. According to the ordinance, property owners would be able to deny certain violent offenders, sex offenders and arsonists from their properties.

Green said Louisville needs more protections for people who need help getting back on their feet.

“The idea that they should only be in certain areas of town or that only slumlords will take people who have certain vouchers again when we looking through a justice and equity lens it’s not something that’s fair and appropriate in my opinion.”

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