LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Since Gerry Board and his wife moved into their house in the Russell neighborhood two years ago, the two lots next door have sat empty, but it won’t stay that way for long. In the next few weeks, construction on new homes will start on three vacant lots on Cedar Street.
“We can accept the noise, but that would be noise of progress,” Board told WAVE 3 News. “We can accept the traffic, but that would be movement. All of this is, no matter what they do, it’s a positive.”
Reset Louisville announced last week they have secured a credit line of $1.4 million to build homes for first-time buyers.
“The Louisville Metro Coalition report, homeownership report, stated that 22,000 new homes needed to be built with Black or minorities in those homes to bridge that gap of disparity between Black and white homeownership in Louisville,” Anthony Gaines II, the director of community engagement with Colors Newspaper, said. “So that was a big part of why we wanted to build new homes.”
Gaines also said only 18%t of land in Russell is owned by people who live there, and the rest is owned by private and public interests who live outside of Louisville. That’s a percentage they want to change.
The plan, Gaines said, is to build up to 22 brand new homes, while using minorities as contractors and subcontractors who also live in west Louisville, to build affordable homes. Three of the houses will be built by the end of the year on Cedar Street.
Between 30 and 40 people have started working with Reset Louisville to learn about homeownership and see if they would qualify to be a first-time buyer. At least 30 people have qualified based on federal guidelines.
“What entices first-time homeowners is a brand new house,” Gaines said. “We want to be able to provide people that want to get a new house and a first mortgage in something new.”
Homeownership is just one of five things Reset Louisville wants to see a change in. They also are looking to make changes to healthcare, fresh food supply, gun violence/police brutality, and financial education.
“It would be fantastic because what that does, it makes almost like a domino effect,” he said. “It will help the community, see things growing, see things improving and all of that’s a plus.”
They also created the West End Economic Development Fund, or W.E.E.D. Fund, and are requesting multiple agencies in Louisville help them raise $150 million over the next 5 years.
For those interested in applying to become a homeowner or to help Reset Louisville, click here.