|HUD No. KY15-001
January 16, 2015
HUD AWARDS CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD GRANT IN LOUISVILLE
Louisville Metro Housing Authority and partners will develop transformation plan for Russell Neighborhood
LOUISVILLE - Building on a commitment to help local communities redevelop distressed public or assisted housing and transform neighborhoods, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced seven new Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awards, including $425,000 to the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. These awards will help grantees craft comprehensive, locally driven plans to revitalize and transform distressed neighborhoods. Part of the Obama Administration's effort to build Ladders of Opportunity to the middle class, HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital.
Secretary Castro made the announcement at the Baxter Community Center, which is in the Russell neighborhood where the funding will be used in Louisville, Kentucky.
"This Choice Neighborhoods grant will spark the creation of community plans for progress," said Castro. "We look forward to working with local leaders to breathe new life into struggling neighborhoods, transforming them into places where residents can flourish and dreams can thrive."
HUD is awarding a $425,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to the Louisville Metro Housing Authority to embark upon a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the Russell neighborhood which lies near Louisville's vibrant Downtown and Central Business District, but is cut off from the district by a major North-South thoroughfare and a series of ramps that connect to Interstate 64. For years, West Louisville stakeholders have advocated for reinvestment in Russell to address the systematic poverty that engulfs the neighborhood, where 62 percent live in poverty, 40 percent reside in subsidized housing, and employment opportunities have dwindled.
Russell has six HUD-assisted housing sites with two directly in Choice Neighborhoods targeted housing, the 768-unit Beecher Terrace, one of only two remaining large, barrack-style, family public housing sites owned by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. Despite previous modernization efforts, Beecher contains serious structural, building and site design deficiencies. A strong set of actors are committed to reversing these trends. In 2010, the African American Heritage Foundation's work to preserve the area's cultural history resulted in the adaptive reuse of a former trolley station as the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. In 2015, Telesis, owner of the HUD-assisted City View Park apartments and the commercial strip adjacent to Beecher, will begin planning for a small retail center that will include a quality grocery store. In 2014, the Community Ventures Corporation has begun the conversion of a former cafeteria into a food business incubator, restaurant and small-scale grocery outlet.
Choice Neighborhoods is HUD's signature place-based initiative and its vision builds on the work that has been done by the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, an interagency partnership between HUD, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and Treasury, since 2009. Choice Neighborhoods also supports the Ladders of Opportunity plan, which will help community partners rebuild neighborhoods, expand early learning opportunities, create pathways to jobs, and strengthen families. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
- Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
- People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families.
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families' choices about their community.
HUD's commitment to teamwork means local residents and leaders are leading the way in revitalizing their communities. In order to develop a plan that meets the core goals of Choice Neighborhoods broad civic engagement will be needed. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers come together to create a plan that transforms distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. This Transformation Plan is the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units, while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.