LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong announced plans on Monday to file an ordinance that she said could drastically help families with children when facing eviction.
Chambers Armstrong, representing Metro District 8, said the ordinance would provide legal aid every step of the way for low-income families in order to keep them in their homes. This legal aid is in contrast to other, more direct eviction assistance, such as rent checks given directly to these families.
Cassie Chambers Armstrong said Monday both kinds of assistance are important, but this kind could have a more powerful impact on keeping people housed.
”When people are sort of going through the eviction process, we know so many people don’t under stand their rights,” said Chambers Armstrong. “Often times they don’t even show up to court, because they feel they don’t understand what’s happening. They feel like there’s nobody on their side.”
This ordinance is co-sponsored by District 4 Councilman Jecorey Arthur. It would partner the city with an organization like a legal aid society to make sure someone is always present to help these families.
The partner organization would reach out even before the families’ first court date, and if they can’t make contact, they could still be there in the courtroom to help.
CDC eviction protections are set to be lifted at the end of March. They could get extended, but if not, Councilwoman Chambers Armstrong said it could really harm the kids that would end up homeless.
That’s that’s why, she said, this ordinance would specifically help them.
”We know that when we look at the data, we have tons of kids in our community that are struggling with housing instability,” said Chambers Armstrong. “If we’re going to start somewhere, we should start with protecting our kids.”
Chambers Armstrong says in other cities similar programs have cost around $700,000, but it should cost less in Louisville.
She added, it has proven to be cost effective and could actually save the city money in the long run keeping people off the streets.