"West Louisville neighborhoods are particularly vulnerable to various aspects of gentrification, and just forcing the neighborhood into directions that they do not want to go. So I just want to remind everyone here [attending this Planning Commission meeting] that the community is watching this process.... [If] you are in the presence of community members saying things did not happen the way you are being told, it is important for us---if we are interested in equity---to stop letting developers... stop letting staff... stop letting people in power tell us what the truth is. We need to look at the evidence. If there's any question then we need to look further. Otherwise, your claims of going after equity---by reforming the land use codes---they're hollow. And it's another reason why there is rising public distrust for the public servants that are supposed to be working for us."
---Martina Kunnecke, Westend resident
President of Neighborhood Planning & Preservation (NPP)
Louisville Metro Planning Commission Meeting on Feb 18, 2021
NPP is a community-based organization that has advocated for Louisville
Metro communities (urban, suburban, and rural) since its establishment in 2003
What's the HBN Assembly?
Historically Black Neighborhood (HBN) residents are fighting back to protect their neighbors---not just their neighborhoods! Anyone living with conditions of housing insecurity--whether from rising property taxes or rents--is a tenant. The HBN Assembly is a tenants' movement based in Louisville, Kentucky. We conduct a reoccurring series of meetings and strategy sessions aimed at protecting and stabilizing Black communities against the violence of gentrification. The HBN Assembly is bringing Black Louisvillians together to develop organizing campaigns, policies, and other strategies to combat displacement and dispossession. We center those most vulnerable to gentrification and are actively building freedom colonies in the city of Louisville.
Low-income and fixed-income renters and homeowners have the highest risk of displacement, dispossession, and banishment as property taxes and rental rates continue to rise in our neighborhoods. Current residents deserve the right to remain healthy in their homes during a national pandemic and beyond, despite what changes may come to their community.
The HBN Assembly is led by current and returning residents of HBN in Louisville, KY. This website was designed to support the network of organizing efforts happening across the city. Use this site to access information and resources. Our community is building power to collectively fight for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors! Will you stand with us?
What is Gentrification?
Gentrification is the displacement and replacement of poor and working-class residents in an area for profit. This process is the result of housing market speculation---spurred by investment in market-rate development---which inflates costs of living in an area beyond the affordability of current residents inevitably forcing them to leave.
Currently, our community is fighting gentrification on multiple fronts. Residents of HBN have been pushing back against the city and developers to secure their housing and gain authentic community control over their neighborhoods. Through this work, we are collectivizing our individual struggles to protect our neighborhoods from displacement, dispossession, and banishment. Click on the links below to access videos, storymaps, etc.
AS AN EXCUSE
Residents are fighting new state legislation that allows courts to take control of properties that it deems as "blighted" and then give those properties to developers to create market-rate housing, which is unaffordable for many residents currently living in HBN in Louisville, KY.
Residents are fighting the gentrification of East Breckenridge. The Hopebox cohort has a plan to build market-rate housing on the 500 and 600 blocks. Each house could be priced as high as $150,000, which is financially inaccessible to current residents and will increase property taxes and rent in the area, forcing many to move.
Residents are fighting decades on decades of racist deed restrictions; neglect of our infrastructure; redlining; racist lending practices; urban renewal/"urban removal"; seemingly unceasing police brutality, intimidation, and surveillance; the carceral design of our community; and so much more.