Protesters accuse Louisville mayor of gentrification during housing project ribbon-cutting ceremony

Mayor Greg Fischer remains under tense scrutiny by the community after the killing of Breonna Taylor

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Louisville, Ky. Mayor Greg Fischer can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to his leadership.

Fischer, who continues to be criticized for the handling of the investigation into the shooting death of 26-year-old EMT worker Breonna Taylor in her bed by police, on Friday faced another challenge as dozens of protesters confronted him at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a housing project in the western part of the city, WLKY-TV reports.

“Fire! Fire! Gentrifier!” the protesters shouted at the event commemorating the completion of the affordable housing complex.

It didn’t take long for a few of them to confront the mayor about their dismay over the project, but he did not engage them.

Housing Partnership Inc., a nonprofit real estate development organization behind the $2.9 million development, says the Montgomery Apartments are for families whose incomes are below 80% of the area median income. The apartment complex offers 9 two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom apartments. The protests were caught on the organization’s live stream of the event.

One protester, however, exclaimed that the apartments are not affordable for the Portland neighborhood’s residents, the CBS-affiliate noted.

In the videos, Fischer can be seen walking away as protesters continue chanting. Protesters eventually left the area and marched through the streets.

After leaving the event, the mayor’s office released a statement about the housing complex.

“Affordable housing is a critical component of our economic development strategy and our racial equity work – and it is the opposite of gentrification,” the statement read adding that Fischer has “consistently advocated” for peaceful protests against systemic racism and is “committed to restoring public trust” in the face of a racial reckoning.

“We appreciate the great work done by non-profit partners like HPI and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. They’re helping close the gap between supply and demand in housing for our neediest neighbors, an important step on the important journey toward racial and economic equity in Louisville,” it said.

Some people believe there is a direct link between the development of the Russell neighborhood and the shooting death of Taylor.

Fischer called the linkage between “Vision Russell” and Taylor’s death outrageous and nefarious.

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