Louisville Tenants Union Oppose Collegiate Plans to Demolish Yorktown Apartments
PRESS RELEASE FROM LOUISVILLE TENANTS UNION ON YORKTOWN APARTMENTS
LOUISVILLE, KY, January 25, 2023 - In November of 2022, the Louisville Collegiate School shocked residents, many of whom had a year or more left on their lease, with news that they planned to demolish the Yorktown Apartments in order to provide parking for their student body. Collegiate was founded by Louisville’s elite Speed family, who ran Farmington Plantation, and the current board president is Augusta Brown Holland, heiress of Brown Forman dynasty and the richest family in the state. Collegiate is one of the most expensive schools in the state, with an annual tuition around $25,000; meanwhile, the average rent at Yorktown is around $845.
Collegiate had to clear this through the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee, however, and the overwhelming negative reaction from neighborhood residents and the powerful disciplined action of the Louisville Tenants Union led the ARC to table the application.
In the midst of a housing crisis, Collegiate is demolishing some of the last affordable housing in the area to build a parking lot. Louisville needs over 30,000 units of housing at the lowest income levels to meet current demand. There simply are not apartments available anywhere near the Highlands with comparable rents.
“I’m retired and on a fixed income now. If i want to stay around here I can’t find anything for less than 1100/1200 dollars in a rental. I’m very discouraged that it looks like I won't be able to stick around this neighborhood to get something I can afford. It's gonna change the distance between me and my mom. It's impossible trying to find a location that's close to a grocery store or the family dollar. My primary care physician, the spine center I go to for my back, is off Gray Street in Preston.” - Yorktown Resident Pat McCarthy
On Wednesday 01/25, the ARC is reconsidering the application. The Louisville Tenants Union will be there with our new comrades from Yorktown apartments to demand justice and fair treatment from Louisville Collegiate school. We’re demanding the following:
1. Collegiate help residents find another apartment within 2 miles of Yorktown.
2. Collegiate cover moving costs of all residents.
3. Collegiate stop any plans for demolition until the complex is totally vacant, i.e. no hard
deadline for tenants to move or face eviction.
4. Collegiate cover the increase in rent for residents for a year after they move.
The Louisville Tenants Union is a multi-racial and multi-generational tenant-led organization dedicated to protecting and fighting alongside poor and working class tenants. Our mission is to create housing for every tenant in Louisville that is safe, decent, and permanently affordable. We believe that housing is a human right, not a commodity! We fight for an end to all evictions, and for community control of housing through the building of tenant power.
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