Michael Jones: All right, this is Michael Jones with the Unfair Housing OralHistory Project that's being done by the Metropolitan Housing Coalition and the University of Louisville Oral History Center. It is September 16th at 10:16, and I'm talking to Jack Trawick, who is the former director for the Center for Neighborhoods. How are you doing today?
Jack Trawick: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.
MJ: So I wanted to ask you about like how you got into housing? But first I wantto know a little bit about your background. Did you grow up in Louisville? 1:00
JT: I did, yes, I grew up here. I've only been gone from Louisville for about 5years, when I went to college. I went to college in Ohio and then spent about a year in Vermont after that and then came back to Louisville. And began my career in this work around 1976 when I was 2-, I was still 23 then.
MJ: So growing up in Louisville, were you aware of how segregated theneighborhoods were?
JT: Yes, yes, I was very aware. I could spend the whole time talking about mybiography growing up. My father's family had been in Louisville for literally 2:00centuries, at least for a century at that point, and he grew up here. He was born in 1911. He was a psychiatrist, and he came back--he served in World War II and he came back in 1946 and married my mother, whom he'd met when they were both in the service. And my mother was--they were both in the Navy.
My mother was from Southern California. She grew up there. She was born in 1923.3:00The culture in which she had grown up, and her political consciousness was much different than my father's. Not to say that my father was an Old South political consciousness, but he grew up in Louisville in the first half of the 20th Century, and Louisville was everything we know it was now in retrospect. But my father's family was deeply rooted in the Southern Methodist Church.
My father was the first of many generations who left that church and becameEpiscopalian, and I was raised an Episcopalian. But his family was all from 4:00Nashville, and I only discovered this much later. My great-uncle was a theologian who ended up--he lived in Nashville, but then ended up a professor in South Carolina.
But he in--I believe it was 1911 helped to organize a conference of churchesthat were for both white and black churches in Atlanta to try to grapple with the problem of segregation and racism. Like I said, I only became aware of this 5:00about 15 years ago when I discovered a manuscript of his. I never knew him. I never knew my grandfather because I come from very long generations, and my grandfather died four years before I did and my uncle whose name was Arcadius McSwain Trawick, or Uncle Cady as my grandmother called him.
He was in Spartanburg, South Carolina so I never knew him. I never knew any ofmy great-uncles, but the reason I tell this story is that my grandmother outlived my grandfather by 25 years. She lived with us until she was 96, and she 6:00was born in Louisville in 1876. And I know exactly where she was born. She was born on 4th Street where the Kentucky Theater Market--the house right there, when that was just a residential neighborhood in 1876.
MJ: Yeah, you cut out a little bit on me.
JT: Okay, okay.
MJ: You were just in the Kentucky Theater Market?
JT: Yes, she was born in a house that was on that site in 1876. And she livedwith us up until she died. She died when I was 20/21 I think, and we were very close. We never talked about race but I think the other influence for me, and it was a very, very significant influence, was as did many upper middle-class white 7:00suburban households in Louisville in the 1950s and '60s, we employed a maid.
The maid, in our case, was a--but we actually--there were two women in my life.One whose name was Emma Haggard, and the other was a woman who was closer to my mother's age, whose name was Aileen Dorsey. And Aileen was--as my late friend Brian De Saint Croix used to say, "She was one of the Browns of Prospect." But 8:00not the Browns up on the hill in Prospect, the Brown-Forman Browns, it was the Brown family that lived in the neighborhood that is right off River Road.
The Jacob--it's known as the Jacob School Neighborhood now which was an AfricanAmerican neighborhood beginning many, many, many decades ago. And both Aileen--I'm sorry, Emma Haggard was a much older woman. She probably was about my father's age. Her husband was--his name was Bill or William, but he went by 9:00Bill, Bill Haggard. And he was actually even older than Emma--I'm sorry, than yeah, than Emma. My father really befriended Bill.
(laughs) I remember one time us--we had a little boat and we went out one daywith Bill and Emma and they went--Bill took my father fishing on the Ohio River up at Fourteen Mile Creek. I remember exactly where we went. And then another time, we went to their house. They invited us down to their house, and I was a small child but I just remember all these things. And they lived in a house that 10:00was where California Park is now, that was later--that house was later demolished by urban renewal when they turned it into the park.
Emma and Bill moved to Parkland and had a house in Parkland. But Aileen was thereal influence on me because she and my mother had a relationship that was almost like--they were almost like sisters. And it was not--you know, I as a white man and as a person who grew up in privilege, I've been very aware of just 11:00the stain of having been that person. I know just by coincidence, but I also am--I feel very grateful for the people who I knew as a child.
Because I grew up in the--in a racist neighborhood in a racist city at a verycharged time, but I was graced by women who were like my grandmothers or my mother. And Aileen was especially a mother to me. We spent a lot of time together at our house. I'd be at home and she would be there. She only worked 12:00for my parents briefly full-time when she was very young and then she got married and raised a family.
But when I was in my teens, she came back once or twice a week just to do somebasic stuff. And I remember us talking about--it was in 1975, I remember us--it was when busing was being introduced to Louisville, and there was all this uproar about busing. And Aileen grew up in Prospect, but she went to Central and she (laughs) I remember her saying, "You know, I don't remember anybody making a 13:00big fuss about how I was bused from Prospect to downtown Louisville every day."
And she just--it was just like a casual remark, but it was kind of like--andAileen was not--she was not a political person, but it just made me a little bit more mindful of things. So I was--to the extent that I grew up, and I will confess this, I grew up in Indian Hills. Indian Freaking Hills and I went to Louisville Country Day School, which was the predecessor to an a KCD, which was an all-boys school on Rock Creek Lane.
I had 36 kids in my class. I went there for 12 years. And so I grew up among the14:00class up people who were--we could now safely say that they were the oppressor class. And I was exposed to the kind of racism that was going on, that existed--it was just in the water. I remember this one kid in my class making jokes about the Birmingham police, you know, the fire hoses and the police dogs in Birmingham. 15:00
And I just remember it being--how I can't say that it wasn't appalled. It waslike that person existed on another planet for me, because of the--it was like God graced me by having grown up in the household that I did. And my mother--you know, my mother ended up being--she was very active in the League of Women Voters, and she was involved with the open housing movement in the 1960s.
She was--she used to talk about--and again, this wasn't kind of a braggingthing. Well it was kind of a bragging thing for her. She talked about having gone to hear Paul Robeson sing at the Hollywood Bowl when she was a teenager. 16:00And also--and she was a youth--she had gone to UCLA so she was a--she'd gone for two years before she joined the Navy, and she was so proud of the fact that Jackie Robinson had played football at UCLA.
And I say--I'm just telling you all this because it was the grace of God that Igrew up in the culture and in the place that I grew up. And it was that that brought me into the work that I ended up doing and with a particular point of view--not a point of view, just a particular belief system that had been 17:00instilled in me, not by lecture or by anything else. It was just having grown up in a household.
There's one other anecdote to this that I--because this is being recorded and itmight be a particular aspect of this, at least, it'll be on the record. And that is that my uncle was a man named Billy Keller, and there is a I think a William Keller--there used to be a William Keller Child Development Center at the 18:00University of Louisville. And he was also a psychiatrist.
He and my father were sort of peers but rivals. Uncle Billy was a few yearsolder than my father. But Uncle Billy was a very close friend of Mayor Charles Farnsley. He--and I got to know Mr. Farnsley late in his life because the first place I worked, which was a downtown development organization, Mr. Farnsley would come to visit the executive director. Mr. Farnsley just would drop in. And the executive director was a guy from Atlanta who didn't know who Charlie 19:00Farnsley was.
I was just kind of like the cub scout in the organization and the executivedirector a lot of times didn't know what to do with me. But Mr. Farnsley would show up and he would kind of pawn him off on me, which was great because I knew who he was and Mr. Farnsley would take me out to lunch and tell me stories. There was one time that he took me--my office was in the Citizens Plaza, the PNC Tower there at--what 5th and Liberty.
We walked over the colonnade, because the colonnade was in the basement of the20:00Starks Building, it was where--it was a great place. So we're going into the Starks Building, and the revolving door there on the 4th Street sides, and out spits this very prominent Louisville attorney whose name was on one of the big firms.
At that point, this fellow was probably in his early 70s, and he was probably apeer--he had probably known Mr. Farnsley for a long time, and he comes spitting out the door--the revolving door and he sees Mr. Farnsley and he says, "Well hey, Charlie. How's your Darktown Strutters Mall doing today?" That being the 21:00River City Mall which was only a few years old then.
They exchanged brief pleasantries and then we'd go in the revolving door and hesays, "Don't mind him. He's just an old fool." That's one story, but later on, I gathered this from an oral history that I heard, both of Mr. Farnsley and something that I'd read of my uncles and it relates to one other story. My father had a patient who was a head waiter at the Brown Suburban--what was known 22:00as the Brown Derby. I don't know if you remember the toy tiger?
JT: Well the toy tiger was originally the restaurant that went along--it waslike the upscale restaurant that was associated with the Brown Suburban Hotel. And all the, you know, the Economy Inn and that mid-rise building, that was all the Brown Suburban Hotel--that was J. Graham Brown's first venture into suburbia. You may know that J. Graham Brown was a notorious racist.
So my father had a patient who was a head waiter, and my father told me thisstory that he was treating this fellow for depression. And the man told him that 23:00he and all the black serving staff at the Brown Suburban, which presumably was most of the staff, they were not allowed to use the restrooms in the restaurant. That if they needed to use a restroom, they had to walk across Bardstown Road to--there was a little gas station where there's a Thorntons there now.
Oh no, that's actually now it's a cash checking place on the southeast corner ofBardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane. They would have to walk across Bardstown Road to the Sinclair Station and use the bathroom there. The relationship of all of 24:00this is that Mr. Farnsley--my uncle was a psychiatrist and he was Charlie Farnsley's best friend, but he was also Charlie Farnsley's psychiatrist.
Mr. Farnsley who was--but Charlie Farnsley was famous for his boat--his KentuckyColonel boat, string tie, and he broke into kind of local fame by when there was the first proposal to move the Confederate monument down at U of L in the early 1950s, and famously Mr. Farnsley showed up and defended the Confederate monument 25:00with his Civil War musket.
You know, it was like a photo op, but Mr. Farnsley was also as he was mayor, hewas known for desegregating parks and for other what would have been considered progressive causes. Mr. Farnsley linked racism to depression, and he--and I'm only extrapolating or inferring, but as a person who experienced--probably experienced his share of depression, he empathized with other people who were 26:00suffering the same way.
And it's an interesting linkage to what we deal with today. The depressing--themental health consequences of racism. We know that they exist, but they--I think that it's part of the larger health disparity of racism that I've become aware of through my own work and through my own reading. So I warned you it was going to be a long story.
The one other interesting thing that relates to today is Josh Poe's research onredlining, being of a one generation previous in community development work, I 27:00was aware of redlining a long time ago and of--how it lead to federal legislation. But the research that was done on redlining in Louisville was--ended up being very interesting to me, because as I said I grew up in Indian Hills.
When I looked at the redlining map and read more about the HOLC, the--and Ican't remember--the Homeowners blah, blah, blah. The entity that created the redlining map. I saw that the redlining map--I suppose every community had a 28:00local advisory board of people who helped to make the decisions on what got red and what got yellow and what got blue and what got green. And I noticed that one of the people on the local advisory board was a man named Paul Semonin.
Paul Semonin was the developer of Indian Hills, and I saw that the neighborhoodI grew up in, which was just--had just become--was just being developed at that time was bright green. And I thought, you know, there is the most egregious form of self-dealing and of discrimination because Mr. Semonin, who made the 29:00decisions on what got green and what got red, he not only gave himself a big competitive advantage by coloring himself green, but was also able to disadvantage other places.
Because the whole thing about redlining was it was like an insurance map. It wasfor lenders to decide where it was risky to lend and where it was safe to lend. So that gave me one more reason to feel guilty about having grown up in Indian Hills. Although--that's the last anecdote.
MJ: So did that influence your decision to get into housing?30:00
JT: No, no. So my psych--I (laughs) I went to a small liberal arts college inOhio, and I became a comparative religions major. I wasn't studying for the ministry. It was like philosophy but it was more like philosophy/theology, and how that lead me to what I ended up doing is very circuitous. Another four month long story. 31:00
So I had no training in anything practical, but when I came back to Louisvilleafter working in Vermont, Vermont is actually where I became interested in land use planning because Vermont had the very progressive--had very progressive environmental laws. This is in the mid '70s. I got to know some people there who had a great influence on me.
And I came back and I'd been really--mostly because of my mother--because of herwork with the League of Women Voters, and she had been politically active during the Kennedy years. I was really interested in civic development, and it was just 32:00kind of in my blood. I didn't know exactly what that meant, but I--but I didn't know what I wanted to do. You know, you come out of college and if you know what you want to do, you're pretty fortunate.
But just through happenstance, a friend of mine told me about a job opening atthis downtown development organization called Louisville Central Area. And what they were looking for was a "promotion assistant," somebody to help put on public events downtown. And at that time, the Belvedere was new, the River City 33:00Mall was new, and there had been this whole wave of development in the early '70s, kind of a brief renaissance of downtown Louisville.
So Louisville Central Area was putting on these events to try to attract peoplefrom the suburbs to downtown in the same way the hyper-inflated, hyperbolic example of that is Thunder Over Louisville. But at that time, no on imagined anything like that. So I went and interviewed and you know, I'm really just a kid. It was 19--fall of 1975 and so I was 23. And I interviewed with the 34:00director, a woman named Mary Louise Dean, and I knew nothing about public events.
I knew nothing about anything, but she had started a bluegrass festival on theBelvedere in 1973 as an attraction. She was an old folkie. She had grown up in the folk scene in Louisville, and she knew a lot of musicians. She had this idea of doing a bluegrass festival. So she started the bluegrass festival, gotten a local sponsor, and at that point, it was in its third year.
And because as part of my work at--in college as a comparative religion major, I35:00had studied Christian Fundamentalism in the Southern Appalachians, and as part of that I had become (inaudible 0:35:17.2) culture and music. Because it was a--it was doing the early '70s, folk revival, and I was the only applicant who knew anything about bluegrass music. And it was because of that that she hired me, and also my effervescent personality.
But for me, that was the little crack in the iron door that I slipped throughthat began my whole adult life. Shortly after I started working there, she had 36:00to resign because she married a man who was taking a job in New York City. So she let me know that was happening and because of that, because she was leaving, there was a reconfiguration of downtown development groups.
Another group that was called the Center City Commission merged into theLouisville Central Area and became a new organization with the same name, Louisville Central Area, but that's when they got involved in--they went back to the function of major planning and downtown development. And it was at that time 37:00that the Galleria Project was first conceived, and the Galleria became a highly contentious project between the neighborhoods around downtown who had all become very--very active.
They were the first set of neighborhoods who were funded by communitydevelopment block grant funds to--and had staffs and were getting actively into community development. They got very oppositional with the downtown power 38:00structure because they were going to tear down a whole block of buildings. Actually two blocks of buildings to build the Galleria.
And there were some very historic commercial buildings along 4th Street betweenLiberty and Muhammed Ali that were all slated to be demolished. So again, I was the kid and nobody really knew what to do with me, and so I was sent out to be the emissary to the neighborhoods, to go to their meetings just so that I--so they would know that we cared. But through that I sort of ended up getting 39:00co-opted. I wasn't even co-opted, it was like I was with people that I really related to.
Then in 1980 after I'd been at LCA for almost five years, I learned a lot atLouisville Central Area, but I also was very conflicted. And this job came available at the community--what was known as the Louisville Community Design Center, which is what the Center for Neighborhoods--that's our original name. I 40:00applied for the job and got it.
That was the beginning of my housing career because one of the first projectsthat we worked on, again I knew nothing. I was--really, I--but the funding for the Community Design Center at that time had come from the Carter Administration as a demonstration grant. And I had the great fortune of being hired--starting my job at the Community Design Center on February 1st--I'm sorry, on--yeah, no 41:00on November 1st, 1980.
I started my job one week before Ronald Reagan was elected president. And so Istarted my job during the Carter period which was a very robust period for community development. It was when the neighborhood movement really got going. Like in Louisville, cities all over the country were receiving block grant funding--community development block grant funding to hire staffs and to do housing.
And so it's when the first grassroots community development organizations wereformed, and the first grassroots economic development organizations were formed. So I came into the Community Development Movement at that moment in time. But I 42:00knew nothing except that these folks were really powerful folks.
So we were--under the terms of our federal grant, we were supposed to providetechnical assistance and design assistance to nonprofit organizations working in low and moderate income neighborhoods. And we were also--because it was a jointly funded by a community action agencies, so the community services block 43:00grant of HHS and CDBG of HUD, we were also supposed to have one of those projects be working with a community action agency in Louisville.
So an old Sunday school teacher of mine named Ken Pyle, you may have heard ofKen Pyle--
MJ: Yeah, the (inaudible 0:43:30)--
JT: --Rudyard Kipling, but Ken Pyle at the time was in his kind of inner mezzoperiod between doing the storefront congregation which was his--his and his wife's bar/restaurant and music venue on Bardstown Road, and doing the Rudyard. 44:00And at that time, Ken was the director of a group called Neighborhood Development Corporation.
And the Neighborhood Development Corporation was working--had been doing housingrehabilitation in Old Louisville since about 1969--and came into it I think around 19--maybe around 1979. But we started working with the Limerick Neighborhood Association. There were several structures at the corner of 6th and Breckenridge that were in--one of the houses, the one I think at 904 South 6th 45:00was a 2-1/2 story brick structure, it's still there because it was rehabilitated by NDC.
At the time, the house--the roof was leaking like a sieve, so the second floorapartment which was vacant was the--served as the roof. In the first floor, there was an elderly woman living in the first floor, and she was heating her house with a 55 gallon drum that had been turned into a wood stove. And so working with Ken and with Rose and Fred Mett, who were leaders of the neighborhood association, that's where I began to learn housing. 46:00
In a five year period, we all working together rehabilitated about 17 units ofhousing in about five different structures between 6th and Breckenridge, and 7th and Zane. I learned everything about housing during that period--housing development.
And because the Community Design Center's primary funding source from that pointon after our demonstration grant was over was the--still the Community Development Block Grant program and because that work was all being channeled through the Community Development Cabinet that was led at the time by Bill 47:00Gatewood, we primarily did housing, working with NDC and beginning to work with other small organizations.
The first of those was the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association, which was ledon by a woman named Ella Roberts, who was a housing counselor for the Urban League. But Miss Roberts was an elder of--if you ever knew Miss Roberts, you would know her as being a village elder. She was a very forceful person, very 48:00determined, and she led the effort for doing housing rehabilitation in Shelby Park which was a neighborhood that was--had had a lot--was really stressed in many different ways.
The Shelby Park Neighborhood Association was one of the only organizations stillaround. Butchertown had pioneered this under Jim Segrest in the 1970s. But Shelby Park Neighborhood Association was one of the few that had been incorporated explicitly among their purposes was explicitly housing development. 49:00
And they had a small committee of three people: Ella Roberts, who was an AfricanAmerican woman; Earl Buner, who was a white man--an older white man who would always just claim that he was an old sheet metal--all he was was an old sheet metal worker. He worked for an HVAC company doing ductwork, but he was retired at that point. And Harlan Beckemeyer, who was the pastor of St. Matthews United Church of Christ, which was--and the three of them were the committee.
For the following seven years, that committee worked to do housing with their50:00technical assistance providers, including me and people from the Community Design Center and the Legal Aid Society, a man named Jeff Siegel, who was a lawyer with Legal Aid and had a community development union. And then around the same time was when David Bos, who was an ordained minister but also he was the director of the East Louisville Community Ministries.
David Bos brought to the community the concept of the need for--to advocate fordecent and affordable housing and fair housing. David convened a large group of 51:00people and out of that was born the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. And over about a two year period, between 1988 and 1990, a small group of people would meet once a week at Miller's Cafeteria on 2nd Street for breakfast and just try to figure out how do we do this. How do we form a coalition.
It was then that Joe Gleasoner and I, we knew a man named John Richards who had52:00been an executive with the Courier Journal who after the Binghams sold the Courier Journal, Barry and Mary Bingham appointed John to be the executive director of their foundation.
Joe and I went to see John Richards, and John Richards and the Binghams made agrant to--and I can't remember the amount--it might have been about $100,000--to provide seed money to create--to fund the staffing of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. It was with that money that we found Suzy Post. And so that's sort of 53:00the--those are the groups (laughter) and there's a lot more to say, but the--yeah, there's a lot more to say.
MJ: So I know last time we talked that you had mentioned that you were workingon a project to raise property values on the block in West Louisville. Are you still working on that?
JT: Well that is an initiative that is--I got involved with that as a member ofthe board of the Housing Partnership. After I retired from Center for 54:00Neighborhoods, I had just completed coursework at the University of Louisville for--I was working to try to obtain a Ph.D. in urban and public affairs at U of L and I had learned a whole lot.
As I said, I may have said to you this, that I went back to school after workingin the field for 30 years because I decided I wanted--and I'd never studied what I had taught and what I had practiced. But I decided that I wanted to go back and figure it out what I--what it was I'd been doing all that time. And it was very, very--it was very helpful for me to understand a great deal more about 55:00urban economics especially.
And also, geospatial analysis, using digital maps and statistical mapping. As amember of the board of the Housing Partnership, they had initiated a project that they called "Beyond 9th." But it was--that when it was first conceived, it was fairly amorphous, other than we need to get much more fully engaged in West 56:00Louisville. And I heard--I heard the expression "model block" or "adopt a block."
And I had had through the years, because I'd worked at that level--at thelevel--at the block level, especially in Shelby Park, I had come to recognize that the problem with doing model blocks is that if you don't do things at very large scale and if you don't do things very strategically, except--I mean, very strategically that all of the adverse factors--all the adverse economic factors 57:00will swallow you up. Well you can't grow--well, yeah.
So I took the idea and started to do a great deal of geospatial analysisthat--and the best way--the best example of that is all the work that MHC did over the last decade, and the Center for Health Equity has done over the last decade or more showing the conditions of the community. Interestingly the first geospatial map that I can think of is that redlining map. But that redlining map 58:00was a--caused the problems that can now be revealed through similar maps that show what the problems of disinvestment have been.
Because there is so much data available--economic data, housing data,demographic data--I felt like what we need to do is to use this tool as a way of--rather than doing a single model block or scattershot development depending 59:00on the--driven by opportunity, driven by whatever land is available, or whatever bunch of vacant structures is available that might be owned by the city already.
What we need to do is to create nodes of where all of the various factorsare--can be combined to build value within that node. And the idea about that is that part of what I learned in my studies at U of L was that when I was doing some research on the California area based upon work that I had done in the 60:00community and people that I knew in the community--I think I may have told you this story, where I had a board member whose name was Geraldine Frazier.
Miss Frazier was a--had been a leader of the California Block Club Federation,and I had worked with her on a project on 18th Street. She lived in a house, I believe it was on Garland, that she had bought from a nonprofit early in the '80s. A couple of different times, she said, "I'm going to have to go ask Mr. So 61:00and So," who was the director of the nonprofit, "Why my house hasn't gained any value."
She put it in slightly different terms from that, but why hadn't it appreciated.During the last years of my career at Center for Neighborhoods, I worked very intensively with Jeana Dunlap and another woman, Christi Stevens, to do analysis of various neighborhoods to try to determine where to invest some federal stimulus money that came out of the--after the--during the last recession. 62:00Neighborhood--it was called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
What I discovered doing that work and doing the work at U of L was that duringthe recession, most neighborhoods gained a little value or broke even, but that West Louisville almost singularly--I don't know if that's the right word--but uniformly lost 10 percent of its appraised value. And the problem with that, and it's been described as a different kind of redlining, but the problem with that 63:00is that it's not being dictated any longer by a map.
It's being dictated by comparable values and by the economics--the housingeconomics of the area. And what happened in West Louisville--West Louisville was eviscerated by the last recession because of all of the foreclosures and all of the abandonment that occurred, much of which was not by owner occupants but was by investors who abandoned rental property.
But none the less, owner occupied property was losing value and the problem with64:00that, not only is it devastating to the owner occupants because all of their equity is--it's like they're losing their investment. But the bigger problem with that is how do you persuade a person to buy a house in a neighborhood where all they can see is that the values in the neighborhood are declining when they could buy a house in another neighborhood where the value--the same house in another neighborhood where the values are increasing. 65:00
It doesn't make any sense. And it doesn't make any sense--it's morallyunacceptable for a community development organization to try to persuade people to be the--on the front line of revitalizing a neighborhood if their life savings are at risk. So the idea that I worked on was how do we create nodes of value where we can build new or rehabilitate homes within the proximity of other 66:00existing owner occupied homes.
And by doing that, and then selling those homes to people with--that will--in away that's accompanied by down payment assistance or some other way of reducing the buyer's cost, but then creating a comparable value that is a bit higher than that which already existed. Then what you're doing is you're beginning to create comparable values that can begin to raise its--its, you know there's that 67:00expression, "A rising tide lifts all boats."
But in this case the idea is, "Rising boats lift the tide." But the only way youcan do it is if you do it: 1) In a sufficient number of nodes that they eventually grow together. The only other way you can do it also is at scale. You've got to do it at scale, you can't do a few houses here and there at a time. You've got to do it big.
So what the Housing Partnership has been doing over the last few years is theyhave been repositioning their assets, their financial assets, and drawing in sufficient funds that they can begin to do this at scale. And part of the way 68:00that they're doing that is that they acquired--I believe around 110 units of single family homes that were built over the last 30 years by one developer as tax credit properties, that they were tax credit funded or assisted homes.
That by nature, tax credit properties have to be rental properties. But once thetax credits have expired, they can become owner occupied and the Housing Partnership acquired about over 100 from one developer who was financially 69:00troubled and those will be the foundation of trying to do at least 100 homes a year for the next 10 years.
So seeding West Louisville as much as possible with these nodes, butit's--there's still a lot of--there's still all sorts of other mitigating factors, such as still the difficulty of acquiring property at strategic locations. That's always the greatest problem because in older neighborhoods, and this has been a problem in West Louisville for as long as I can 70:00remember--well, and again, there are a couple of other anecdotes that I could tell, but the main one is that there are too many situations where a home has occupied by one or two elderly people, an elderly couple or an elderly single.
It's the home that's been their home all of their lives. And then they pass andtheir children might live in six different cities, or one or two of their children might have passed themselves and have children themselves. The couple 71:00might--may or may not have had a will and the property itself is abandoned for just a month. And in a month, it gets stripped of its copper or its metal or whatever.
So the value of the house is already minimal and the claim to that house is, andit has what in the real estate industry is known as a "cloudy title." Acquiring 72:00a piece of property with a cloudy title is a nightmare, and there is a whole thunderstorm of cloudy titles all over the city, but a great concentration (inaudible 1:12:14.0) the neighborhoods that I'm talking about and you can't just walk in and do something with it. I answer short questions with long answers.
MJ: (laughs) Well that's fine. It's all been interesting, but I do have to getoff. But I look forward to talking to you again and thank you for your time. All right?
JT: All right. Thank you, Michael. Good luck.
MJ: You too.
[End of interview][1:12:53.4]