In a surprise announcement Friday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city has received a $22 million federal grant to raze the historic Sheppard Square housing complex in the Smoketown neighborhood.
The plan is to build a mixed-income neighborhood to replace the 67-year-old complex, which could take years but would invest $167 million in the area.
City officials say the bulk of money will come from low-income housing tax credits, which affordable housing advocates have criticized as being out of reach for poorer families.
Metro Government attempted to raze the 327-unit complex two years ago, but failed to secure the funding. At the time residents had mixed feelings about the city’s plan, with many saying the deteriorating facades needed to be torn down and various social ills plaguing the area had not improved.
Others, however, objected to the demolition and questioned whether tearing down the oldest African-American housing complex and scattering poorer residents across the city was the best solution.
This will be the city’s third public housing project razed with funds from the Hope VI program, which is set up to break up pockets of poverty by demolishing old barracks-style public housing facilities.