Anti-Displacement Ordinance: Policy Protected Petition (individuals)

Louisville Metro Council and Mayor Craig Greenberg

The Problem: As a result of decades of Louisville Metro Government giving away public dollars, land, and Metro Officer support to corporate developers, gentrification has devastated Black communities in Louisville, KY. In neighborhoods like Smoketown and Russell, gentrification has pushed out, destabilized, and disinherited countless deeply rooted working-class and poor Black families. That ain’t right!

In 2016, the city launched the Vision Russell development project, and then in 2018, another Russell-based nonprofit development initiative began. The impact of these two initiatives using public assets and resources to build market-rate development in Russell neighborhood(1) has been dire. We lost so many of our neighbors as a result. According to the US Census, between 2010 and 2020 Russell Neighborhood lost about 2,450 Black residents while its white population has rapidly increased(2). We don’t know where these families have gone, but we know that a 2016 study found that a $100 increase in median rent is associated with a 15% increase in homelessness in urban areas(3).

These nonprofit and for-profit corporate developers feeding off our public assets have not built housing that we can afford. Instead, they have taken our resources and built properties that are driving up the cost of living in our communities. That ain’t right! Single mothers and our elders have been hit the hardest and rents are still skyrocketing. What do we want? We want Louisville Metro Government to actually do what it has been saying it will do. We need our policymakers to pass the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance!  

The Solution/Demand: Pass the Anti-Displacement Ordinance (formerly the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance) sponsored by Councilman Jecorey Arthur, Councilman Kumar Rashad, Councilman Ben Reno-Weber, and Councilwoman Tammy Hawkins. The Anti-Displacement Ordinance will prevent public assets (i.e. land, money, Metro Officer support) from going to development projects that will displace residents in areas that are vulnerable to displacement. It also creates a pathway to return stolen land and prioritizes our communities in receiving support from Metro programs such as the Home Repair program, Down Payment Assistance program, and Small Business Assistance program.


1.     Louisville Metro Government. (2019, October 17). Open Records Request #12478. Louisville.

2. US Census data. Note: Russell Median Income is based on Census Tract 24.01, 2021 ACS 5- Year Est

3.     Munley, E., Fargo, J., Montgomery, A., & Culhane, D. (2012). NEW PERSPECTIVES ON COMMUNITY-LEVEL DETERMINANTS OF HOMELESSNESS. Journal of Urban Affairs.

To: Louisville Metro Council and Mayor Craig Greenberg
From: [Your Name]

We, the individuals undersigned, join the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance Coalition in urging you to pass the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance into law.

Louisville Metro Government has been saying for years that we need an anti-displacement policy to protect poor and working-class communities being ripped apart by gentrification. We’re done waiting! We need clear and decisive action now. For the last two years, residents from across Historically Black Neighborhoods in Louisville, KY, have been working together to develop a policy that not only protects us and our neighbors but also will work to restore our communities. We call this policy the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance.

In the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, Louisville committed to “ensure the long-term affordability and livable options in all neighborhoods,” and recognized the priority to “discourage displacement of existing residents from their community.”

Join us! Now is the time to follow through on these commitments by passing the Historically Black Neighborhood Ordinance.