Russell Choice Neighborhood Initiative
On Dcember 12, Mayor Fischer joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) representatives at the Baxter Community Center to announce the Louisville is receiving a $29.5 million implementation grant through the U.S. HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program.
The Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA), Louisville Metro Government including the Office of Advanced Planning, and other partner organizations worked hand-in-hand with neighborhood residents to create a strategy for the revitalization of the Russell Neighborhood, including the Beecher Terrace public housing development.
The effort covers the area between Market Street and Broadway and from 9th to 32nd Street.
The federal funding is expected to leverage more than $200 million in private, foundation, nonprofit and public dollars to fully implement Vision Russell, a comprehensive transformation plan for the neighborhood, starting with a phased deconstruction and redevelopment of the Beecher Terrace public housing site. Vision Russell was developed over the past two years by Louisville Metro Government, the Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) and community residents, agencies and leaders.
Vision Russell efforts will focus on several key components in transforming the neighborhood, including:
- Tearing down and redeveloping Beecher Terrace into a sustainable, multi-generational, mixed-income, mixed-use development;
- Developing one-for-one, off-site replacement housing for Beecher Terrace residents in their neighborhoods of choice;
- Increasing safety and security;
- Re-creating strong retail and service centers within the neighborhood;
- Improving educational and health outcomes for Beecher Terrace and Russell households; and Improving community connectivity.
Construction in Russell will start in mid- to late 2017 and continue for seven years. At least 25 percent of the work will be performed by minority-owned businesses, 10 percent by female-owned businesses, and a half percent by businesses owned by disabled people.
The strategies and goals included in Louisville’s Choice implementation grant application, sent to HUD this summer, were identified by a committee comprised of Russell residents, community and business leaders, and city and LMHA officials. This two-year planning process was funded through a $425,000 planning grant that HUD awarded to the Housing Authority in January 2015 and a $600,000 leveraged contribution from Louisville Metro Government.
In June, HUD awarded LMHA an additional $1 million action activities grant to kick-start efforts to enhance and accelerate other redevelopment within the Russell neighborhood. Louisville Metro Government leveraged an additional $375,000 for that effort.
Louisville was the only city of five selected for the Transformation Grant in 2016 that also recieved the Action and Planning Grants.
Nearly 600 team members and partner organizations are currently involved in the planning and implementation of Russell’s Transformation Plan, including Russell residents, businesses and other stakeholders, such as early childhood education providers, public and private schools, universities, health care centers, and faith-based organizations. Thease partners have attended over 65 public meetings to this point to create the plan and will continued to be involved ni the plan's execution.
LMHA created a website specifically to provide Vision Russell updates to the public. To view the website, please click here.