Exclusive: New Directions investing $100 million in affordable housing in Louisville

A local nonprofit is investing $100 million into its affordable housing portfolio.

New Directions is undertaking a massive renovation project, rehabbing some of its nearly 1,000 units across Louisville. CEO Lori Flanery said the organization’s portfolio includes everything from apartments to single-family homes, most of which have residents who are at or below 30% of the area median income.

Lori Flanery 09

Lori Flanery, CEO, New Directions Housing Corp.

Christopher Fryer

The first phase of the project includes updating the organization’s Shawnee and Roosevelt portfolios. Shawnee consists of 177 units, and Roosevelt has 47 units.

The investment into the first phase will undergo a $51 million transformation: $38 million on the Shawnee apartments and $13 million on the Roosevelt apartments. Flanery said the organization is beginning with those portfolios because the funding was the first to become available.

That phase is expected to be completed by June 2024.

Bridgette Johnson, chief operating officer of New Directions, said it will be a substantial rehabilitation. It includes replacing walls, floors, windows, appliances, roofing, HVAC, bathrooms and more.

The organization’s portfolio includes anything from apartments to single family homes, most of who are at or below 30% of the area median income.

New Directions has intentionally left some of its units unoccupied to house displaced residents during the renovations. The projects will take about six months, Johnson said.

“We handle all the expenses including getting the moving truck, doing all the logistics and coordinating, to make sure we support the resident as much as possible during this inconvenience,” Johnson said. “But it’s for their joy in the next six months when they get to move back into a completely, substantially rehabilitated unit.”

The second phase of the project includes the Russell and Directions portfolios. That includes a $54 million investment into 289 units.

The organization is actively working to secure funding now, and work will begin when the funding is fully secured.

A third phase will include new apartment units. The organization is planning 36 senior apartments at the Roosevelt and 80 to 100 new units at the Russell apartments. The latter will also provide retail, medical and other on-site services.

Phase I Renovation Shawnee Renaissance and Roosevelt Apartments - 3

The rehabilitations will roll out in two phases. A third phase includes new units.

Ashley Brauer

When Flanery took over the organization six years ago, she said the team started looking at ways it could be an even better resource and more representative of the community.  

She said New Directions diversified the board to include people of various races, ages, genders and professions.

“It’s really interesting for us because New Directions is so holistic,” Flanery said. “It’s affordable housing, plus a lot of other things like transportation, childcare, education, workforce, health. We really wanted to get people in the community who could help us understand those issues and make connections.”

New Directions provides opportunities for wraparound services such as workforce development, youth after-school homework centers, a family self-sufficiency program called “I Rise” that results in graduates achieving goals and saving money for a home down payment, and Repair Affair, a program that makes critical improvements to the homes of seniors and people with disabilities.

It’s also a NeighborWorks organization, as well as certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide affordable housing through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Under this program, residents pay rent equal to 30% of their income.

New Directions has won awards from the state of Kentucky, as well as HUD. It’s one of the largest nonprofits in the Louisville region, with nearly $11.5 million in revenue last year, according to Louisville Business First research.

Partners on the Shawnee portfolio:

  • Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • Kentucky Housing Corporation
  • State Historic Preservation Office
  • Micro-Analytics
  • National Park Service
  • PNC Bank
  • Hope of the Midwest Bank Consortium
  • Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust
  • Bywater Development Group
  • Altman-Charter Company
  • Hooker Dejong Architects
  • Joanne Weeter
  • Development Resource Partners

Partners on The Roosevelt portfolio:

  • Kentucky Housing Corporation
  • State Historic Preservation Office
  • National Park Service
  • PNC Bank
  • Hope of the Midwest Bank Consortium
  • Bywater Development Group
  • Bossee Construction Co.
  • Voelker Blackburn Niehoff Architects
  • Pinion Advisors
  • Development Resource Partners
  • Micro-Analytics
The List

Rank Prior Rank Project Name

1

1

Robley Rex VA Medical Center

2

2

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport renovation

3

3

Churchill Downs Racetrack renovations

View this list

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