by Gabe Bullard
The Louisville Metro Housing Authority is preparing to resubmit an application for federal funds to demolish the Sheppard Square housing complex in the Smoketown neighborhood.
The authority is seeking to destroy Sheppard Square and replace it with a more modern housing complex. A request for a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to begin work was rejected last week following what authority director Tim Barry says was a tight competition for limited funds.
Barry says Louisville’s request will be tweaked and resubmitted later this summer. But the changes will be minor, he says, as the application and housing plan are strong.
“It’s just some of the narrower things. You have to really button this thing up tightly. It’s a huge document, just huge. It’s hundreds of pages that we submit and there’s some areas that we want to make sure that w e explain what we want to do completely,” he says. “These developments—and we’re not the only city to have them—are 60 to 70 years old and have served a very useful purpose for 6 or 7 decades, and have outlived their usefulness. It has nothing to do with the residents, it has everything to do with the fact that they were built at a different time with different building standards.”
In all, 44 agencies applied for HUD grants. Six were awarded.