vacant properties

Local News
3:30 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Metro Louisville Launches $38,000 Competition for Vacant Lot Reuse Concepts

Credit File photo

Metro Louisville is seeking proposals for innovative uses of vacant properties.

The competition will award two people or groups $15,000 prizes and ownership of a vacant lot to implement their long-term,permanent plans. Two more $4,000 prizes and one-year leases will be awarded to people or groups for temporary plans, which would use the space until permanent development can happen.

The competition is now accepting proposals from people or groups here. The applications must be turned in no later than Feb. 24.

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Arts and Humanities
11:23 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Watch | Abandoned Building Transformed into Arts Space

Open House, folded up. The York, Ala., structure unfolds into an open-air theater that seats 100 people.
Credit Matthew Mazzotta

There's an active push in Louisville to demolish vacant and abandoned properties. But what happens to those lots after the houses come down? In York, Alabama, an innovative partnership between artists and the community has addressed a lack of public space in town by transforming a blighted property into an interactive, usable community arts and gathering venue. 

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1:14 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Councilwoman Attica Scott’s 'Bringing Down the House' Push Questioned, Praised

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott’s push to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in District 1 has ignited a debate between residents and neighborhood leaders on how to tackle the problem.

The "Bringing Down the House" initiative is part of Metro Government’s overall effort to raze houses officials argued cannot be rehabilitated.

In January, Scott appropriated $25,000 in discretionary funds to pay for just over half a dozen demolitions mostly in the Parkland neighborhood.

Just this week, Scott's office announced one of those targeted properties located a 3020 Hale Avenue was torn down by city crews. It is the second house to be razed on that block in recent months, and another on Virginia Avenue was demolished last year.

In the announcement, Scott said this is an intentional attempt to clean up a scourge of empty structures. But neighborhood activists such as Chickasaw Federation President Donovan Taylor say tearing down those properties is not the answer, adding more should be done to refurbish those homes.

"There's a blight that comes with vacancy in the form of overgrown grass, liter and blight. And demolishing the homes does not eliminate that primary primary. You’re killing the fabric of the neighborhood when you may have a block that once had 20 homes that now only have 10 homes," he says. "We have on house on Cecil and Greenwood that during the summer the grass becomes so high that you can barely see the home because it’s between two vacant lots."

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2:53 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Vacant Properties Committee Goes Mobile, Seeks Input in West Louisville

The Metro Council ad hoc Vacant Properties Committee is holding a special meeting in west Louisville to hear from community groups and neighborhood leaders.

Committee members are specifically looking to spotlight organizations with small budgets, and are urging groups to make 2 to 3 minute presentations.

Vacant Properties Vice-Chair Attica Scott, D-1, says she wants to introduce the community to city initiatives related to abandoned and vacant properties, and give non-profits a chance to showcase their own ideas to lawmakers.

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10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

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9:30 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Councilwoman Attica Scott Announces “Bringing Down the House” Campaign

Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a new effort to tackle the city's housing crisis, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is announcing a campaign to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in her district.

Scott joined worked crews from the city's Inspection, Permits and Licenses Department on Thursday morning to launch "Bringing Down the House," which is aimed at razing properties that are not habitable and have become serious neighborhood eyesores.

The effort will cost a little over $1 million, according to Scott. It is being funded with $60,000 in council appropriations, around $420,000 in federal HUD money and $500,000 from a settlement secured by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Scott is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee. She says the demolition process takes a long time, but that the new campaign is worth the cost.

"I wish that we could demolish more of the houses that have been abandoned and vacant, and have just destroyed neighborhoods in our district," says Scott. "These are houses that are far beyond rehabilitation, they're house that neighbors have been crying out to city government for years to demolish. They're a public health nuisance and a public safety issue for neighborhoods."

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Local News
12:23 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Read | State of Metropolitan Housing Report 2012

The Metropolitan Housing Coalition has found that, among other things, vacant properties unequally plague western Louisville. Read the report here:

11:15 am
Tue October 16, 2012

New Ordinance Aims to Hold Banks Responsible for Vacant Properties

Foreclosed properties near the site of Tuesday's announcement of the new ordinance.

City leaders plan to create a new registry to help the city better track vacant properties and ensure they're maintained.

The city has over 16,000 abandoned properties. In some neighborhoods, up to a third of the houses are vacant. A proposed ordinance would create a city registry to track foreclosed properties and levy fines on banks that are not following regulations. Whenever banks foreclose on a home, they'll be required to give the city notice and information on who is responsible for maintaining the property. 

“Generally, once the banks acknowledge that they are responsible for the properties they do a pretty good job of maintaining the properties. The ones where we have a lot of issues are when it’s in this no man’s land where we’re still fining and still citing a property owner who has already walked away from the property,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, who is sponsoring the ordinance. 

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