LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A pilot program new to Louisville is trying to prevent evictions by bringing tenants and landlords together for mutual agreements.
Robin Bray owns several single family homes around the Louisville area. One of Bray’s tenants, who has children, had fallen several months behind on rent as she dealt with cancer. Bray didn’t want to displace a family, but also couldn’t afford to cover their rent for a long period of time.
“I thought ‘how are we going to solve her problem,'” Bray said. “I had enough money to hold onto a little bit longer. I don’t know what a little bit longer would have been, but I was just hoping something would come along where she could catch up.”
Bray learned about the eviction mediation program at a Kentucky Real Estate Investment Association meeting. The program provided a solution for the landlord and tenant.
“I told her that I think we found something that can help us,” Bray said. “We both cried on the phone.”
The program has been years in the making. Marilyn Harris, director of Develop Louisville, said the idea of eviction mediation started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Develop Louisville entered into a contract with Resolve Restorative Practices LLC, a group that mediates with landlords and tenants. The City of Louisville set aside $2 million to help tenants who go through the mediation process.
Shannon Floyd, principal mediator for Resolve Restorative Practices, said the mediation process is about humanizing both sides.
“Mediation is really about understanding how conflict is really rooted in misunderstandings and emotion. If you address emotion, you address the conflict,” Floyd said. “Until we address the emotional element of conflict, it’s not really resolved. So many people and things fall in between the cracks.”
The group has completed two mediations so far and launched a third in April. Floyd said they’ve received hundreds of inquiries from tenants and landlords for a program that’s new to the state of Kentucky.
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