Rotary Club of Louisville
West Louisville Housing Fund
Administered by Park Community Credit Union
The Rotary Club of Louisville (“Club”) West Louisville Housing Initiative (“WLHI”) was conceived by the Club’s Community Impact Committee as part of an ongoing effort to identify critical issues in the Louisville community and to develop corresponding solutions. During hundreds of hours of meetings with significant input from community leaders and activists – home ownership in west Louisville kept rising to the top among issues brought forward. Club members learned:
- Up to 80% of residents in West Louisville are renters, often paying up to three times more in rent than they would in mortgage payments
- Due to the now illegal practice of redlining, coupled with current banking regulations, many west Louisville residents have not qualified for conventional bank mortgages, even though they can afford the monthly payments
- The lack of opportunity to invest in a home prevents west Louisville residents from building generational wealth
- Statistics prove that home ownership improves safety as well as educational and health outcomes
Club leaders took action to facilitate a solution to improve access to capital for home mortgages, developing the West Louisville Housing Initiative. Highlights:
- Following a competitive RFP process, Park was selected as fiduciary partner. Park will administer all aspects of the program and has pledged to match 20% of what Rotary raises, up to $3 million
- Rotary will raise $5 million in contributions to a restricted fund through the Club’s associated 501(c)(3) foundation, Rotary Fund of Louisville, Inc., providing a potential tax deduction to donors
- As funds accumulate, they will be transferred from the restricted fund to a dedicated account managed by Park which will fund 30-year home mortgages to qualified low- and moderate- income buyers who purchase homes located in low- and moderate-income census tracts in the nine traditional neighborhoods of West Louisville
- Park’s CDFI designation will allow banks who wish to contribute to the fund to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration
Park will be responsible for promoting the loan program, qualifying potential buyers, and closing and administering the loans
- Buyers will make monthly payments to Park which will replenish the dedicated account, creating a revolving fund that will continue to provide loan opportunities for additional buyers
- A portion of the funds will be set aside for down payments, and the program will include a financial literacy component along with a three-year home warranty insurance policy
The WLHI is the first of its kind in the United States. It will create systemic change by providing a pathway to homeownership where access to capital is needed the most and will minimize or eliminate most all fees that increase the cost of homeownership.
It differs from other worthy housing programs such as Habitat for Humanity, or other down payment programs, in that it provides an entire 30-year mortgage – including the down payment – to qualified buyers.
The WLHI is being led by Rotarians Luke B. Schmidt, Community Impact Committee Chairperson and Denise Sears, Vice Chairperson, along with Park Community Credit Union.
Rotary Club of Louisville 2022-2023 President Walt Kunau presided during a media event on Monday, September 26, 2022 at the Louisville Knot sign in downtown Louisville, where the Club announced the transition from the “quiet” phase of the fundraising campaign to the public launch. Presentations are in the works with leading businesses, all banks doing business in Jefferson County, and with local foundations. Kimberly Halbauer, Rotarian and Regional President of Fifth Third Bank, announced a donation of $500,000. “Fifth Third Bank is proud to be part of transformational programs like Rotary’s West Louisville Housing Initiative. I invite other banks to come together and contribute to this initiative which will change lives and outcomes in the West End,” said Halbauer.
At a media event on August 24, 2023, leaders of the Rotary Club, Park Community Credit Union, Metro Louisville Government and other civic and community leaders celebrated the closing of the first home loan through the program!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rotary Club of Louisville celebrates first home purchase in West Louisville Housing Initiative
First-of-its-kind in the U.S. program provides pathway to homeownership for families
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (August 24, 2023) – Excited is an understatement. Overwhelmed, Chauntez Williams says, that’s just not a big enough word to describe the joy she feels about owning her first home. Williams, a Louisville mother of five grown children, closed on her Algonquin home Wednesday through the Rotary Club of Louisville’s West Louisville Housing Initiative. The program provides a pathway to homeownership for people who might not otherwise qualify for traditional mortgages.
“This is the biggest thing in my life that I ever wanted to accomplish,” Williams said. “With the help of the Rotary Club of Louisville and Park Community Credit Union, I was able to accomplish it. I’m just in a daze. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it, and here I am, a homeowner. It’s my home.”
Williams began her homeownership journey more than three years ago. A caterer and chef, she worked with Park Community Credit Union to improve her financial health. Williams is thrilled to be the first homeowner of the West Louisville Housing Initiative.
“Rotary Club of Louisville recognizes homeownership as a critical factor for community vitality,” said Kevin Lynch, Club President. “Our members invested hundreds of hours of research, listened to dozens of experts and community members, and determined we can help increase our community’s overall health, well-being, and quality of life by creating this innovative solution to improve access to capital for home mortgages.”
A first-of-its-kind in the nation program, the West Louisville Housing Initiative administered by Park Community Credit Union, funds 30-year home mortgages to qualified low- and moderate-income buyers who purchase homes in the nine traditional neighborhoods of West Louisville. It differs from other worthy housing programs, such as Habitat for Humanity, or other down payment programs, in that it provides an entire 30-year mortgage loan – including the down payment – to qualified buyers.
“As Kentucky’s largest CDFI, this milestone marks a significant step towards realizing our shared commitment to enhancing community development and access to affordable housing,” said David Constantino, Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer, Park Community Credit Union. “This achievement underlines the profound impact that collaborative efforts can have on our community.”
The Rotary Fund of Louisville has committed to raising $5 million in contributions for the program that will help create generational wealth for Louisville families. Park Community Credit Union will match 20 percent of what the Rotary Club raises, up to $3 million. So far, the Club has received $2.5 million in pledged donations.
As pledged funding is received, prospective homebuyers are contacted to begin the process. The second homebuyer is currently in the process of mortgage approval. In total, it’s estimated 40 families will purchase homes through this program. As they repay their loans back into the fund, more homebuyers will be added.
“The need for this kind of groundbreaking program is clear and far exceeds the funding pledged and donated thus far,” said Kim Halbauer, Regional President, Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky and Rotary Club of Louisville member and Treasurer. “Fifth Third Bank has committed $500,000 to this program to support our neighbors as they build robust credit history and create generational wealth through homeownership. We encourage conventional and community banks throughout Louisville and Kentucky to stand with us in building a strong and healthy community by investing in this initiative.”
Community members, businesses and banks can learn more about making a pledge by contacting Rotarian Luke Schmidt at email@example.com.
Contributions to the West Louisville Housing Fund may be made via check made payable to the Rotary Fund of Louisville, Inc. (mail to 657 S Hurstbourne Pkwy, Ste D-226, Louisville, KY 40222) or online here: bit.ly/WLHFContribution
“Today marks an important, long overdue step in helping Louisvillians achieve their dream,” said Rep. Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky, 3rd District. “This will help bridge the gap for homeownership in Louisville and invest in our community for decades. I’ll continue working in Congress to advocate for more affordable housing throughout Louisville and explore new pathways to help people become homeowners.”
“This initiative is an excellent example of the private/non-profit sector stepping up to help facilitate a real solution to a serious problem when it comes to access to home ownership,” said Greg Fischer, former Louisville Metro Mayor, who was in office when the initiative launched. “I encouraged the development of a partnership between Louisville Metro Government and Rotary. I encourage Louisville-area businesses and banks to step up and support this initiative in order to make home ownership a reality for many of our citizens.”
For Williams, buying her own home represents a generational change. “My kids are so proud of me. I’m so proud of me. I really did it.”
Potential homebuyers interested in learning more about the program may visit: https://www.parkcommunity.com/rotary-loan-program
Fifth Third Bank
Louisville – Jefferson County Metropolitan Government
$250,000 – $499,999
Park Community Credit Union1
$25,000 – $99,999
Henry V. Heuser, Jr.
Norton Healthcare Institute for Health Equity
Sociable Weaver Foundation
Woody & Anne Northup
$5,000 – $24,999
Luke & Sharon Schmidt
Steve & Kathleen Rungwerth
Thom & Kathy Crimans
$2,500 – $4,999
Alex Novak & Norah Kute
Barbara Sexton Smith
Ben & Theresa Reno-Weber
Bob & Terri Connelly
Charles & Mary Mattingly Charitable Fund
David M. Burkholder
David L. Shadburne
Erica & Patience Fields
Frederic T. Harned
Ginger Wallace & Janet Holliday
Dr. Harry C. Stephenson
Hulyn & Ron Farr
Jessica & Neville Blakemore
Joyce E. Seymour
Kathey Golightly Sanders
Lori Hudson Flanery
Lynn & Walt Kunau
Mike & Kathy Kull
Michael T. Fallot
Michael S. Norman
Paula & Mike Grisanti
Phillip & Esther Tamplin
Rudy F. Moeller, Jr.
Susan G. Zepeda
T. Vernon Foster
tony H. Coffey
$250 – $2,499
Alice O. Bridges
Alice Shade / 4AVentures
Barry & Larie Allen
INgrid Design, LLC
Stan Whetzel / Whetzelatlaw PLLC
Todd Warren / MPI Printing
 Park Community Credit Union’s donor level (based on its 20% match commitment) will change as commitments are received
 Donor level reflects expected full commitment