Louisville Properties Blog
Louisville Properties Blog

Louisville Seeking Federal Grant to Develop Sheppard Square

Louisville officials are lobbying for a $20 million grant from the federal government to help offset the costs of razing the Sheppard Square public housing complex in Smoketown and develop mixed income homes and Louisville apartments. The proposed project would level the 326-unit complex and would be Louisville's third project in the HOPE VI federal program that intends to destroy the barracks-style public housing projects built in the 50s and 60s and disperse the concentrations of poverty. The project is expected to cost $200 million and the Louisville Metro Housing Authority has not yet lined up the rest of the financing needed to fund the project, but agency executive director Tim Barry says he's confident the rest of the funding can be secured. "The fact that we have done this twice before and the fact that this is smaller—we are comfortable we can put together a budget that will pay for this," Barry said. Officials say that funding for the project would come from a similar mix of private and government sources like the projects that built Park DuValle in western Louisville and Liberty Green east of downtown. The housing authority promises to replace the 326 units lost when Sheppard Square is razed just as it did with the other projects by building or purchasing new public housing throughout the city. For over a decade, Louisville housing and planning officials have been developing plans to revitalize the Shelby Park and Smoketown neighborhoods with an eye on what the areas would look like without Sheppard Square. Patricia Bell, a resident of Shelby Street and president of the Smoketown Neighborhood Association, said both the neighborhood and public housing residents stand to benefit if the complex is taken down. "I think public housing has served its place," she said. "But to me, I never felt it was always good to stack people in predominantly ethnic groupings into a situation where it seems like they can't get out, or there is no way out."

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