January 2020: CHE ARC Newsletter

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January 2020

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A healthy Louisville where everyone and every community thrives.

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  • The Center for Health Equity wishes you all a Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to going deeper in 2020 to advance health equity. Stay tuned for several exciting announcements over the next few months!
  • Are you interested in helping to ensure a Complete Count for Louisville in the 2020 Census? Follow this link to learn more about various temporary office and field positions.

Featured Story


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Housing Ordinance

Across the nation people are facing inequities related to housing affordability, access, and quality that are contributing to harmful health issues across the lifespan. January’s edition of the CHE: ARC newsletter will cover proposed amendments to Louisville Metro’s Discrimination Ordinance (Housing Ordinance) to extend protections to individuals facing discrimination based on homeless status, prior military service, lawful source of income, and conviction history or arrest history; and the importance of safe and secure housing to one’s health.

Housing Relates to Health

Housing includes the physical structures of our living arrangements, but it is also important to consider the safety, quality, and stability of these arrangements. All of these aspects of housing have a significant impact on individual health. For example, safe, stable, and quality housing contributes to creating the conditions for other healthy behaviors to be experienced, like rest, social connection, and other healthy routines. Housing is an essential root cause to health. equates to better health overall.

Access to Housing, Discrimination, and Evictions:

Louisville Metro residents face many issues as it relates to access to rental housing, including discrimination. The combination of discrimination with the limited availability of affordable housing is adding to the burden of housing insecurity that many residents are experiencing.

Other outcomes that exist in Louisville Metro because of a lack of access and housing discrimination are evictions, homelessness, injuries and illnesses associated to poor housing quality, increased cost burden and poverty, and decreased access to other essential services like healthcare and healthy foods. Considering one’s income status, wealth and access to financial capital, it is difficult for people to afford housing which can, in turn, limit where they can live. The type of housing that people can afford can also dictate the type of quality housing they get, which can be of poor quality and can be detrimental to their health. Moreover, the private housing market allows room for landlords to increasing rents for profit while making it difficult for people to afford to live in their own communities which can lead to more evictions.

Evictions have become a national epidemic that is affecting many people, especially people in Louisville. According to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, data collected in 2016 showed that Jefferson County had a 4.49% eviction rate where they evicted approximately 5,761 people.  Renters are being evicted not only because of the housing market prioritizing profits with regard to rent, but for many other reasons such as operating a boarding house. Furthermore, “in most American cities and towns, landlords can evict renters even if they have not missed a rent payment or otherwise violated their lease agreement; these are called “no fault” evictions2.”   The “no fault” eviction is an important policy that can create conditions for increased discrimination and health issues. The consequences of evictions2 include losing possessions, social networks (by having to move away), and even jobs. Evidence has shown that anxiety, depression and stress are likely to result from eviction. And, in a time where homelessness is a critical issue, evictions only contribute to this inequity.

All of these overarching issues prevent people from having the ability to feel safe and sheltered as well as meet one’s basic needs of survival.

Protection of all

Louisville Metro’s Housing Ordinance was established to promote fair and equal housing opportunities for residents and eliminate barriers based on discrimination. The ordinance is an expansion of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and it is intended to prevent discrimination in housing, whether they are buying a home, seeking housing assistance, or renting a home. The local ordinance currently protects individuals from discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, familial status, disability, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Through proposed amendments, the Housing Ordinance will extend protections and prohibit discrimination based on a persons’ lawful source of income, arrest and conviction records, veteran status, or homeless status, and will increase the opportunities for residents to have a fair opportunity to secure housing.

If you are interested in learning more about the proposed amendments, follow this link to the full ordinance where you can also check out supporting presentations from the Human Relations Commission, the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, and the Louisville Urban League, and track the ordinance’s progress through Louisville Metro Council.



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