Local News Politics

Housing Authority Director Addresses Sheppard Square Demolition

The executive director of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority says the concentration of poverty in the Sheppard Square housing complex attracts predators and razing the debilitated structure is a necessary step to revitalize the historic Smoketown neighborhood.

Earlier this year, the city received a $22 million HOPE VI grant to tear down the 70-year-old complex with its 326-units. The plan is to replace Sheppard Square with a mixed income neighborhood that will cost around $157 million. Housing authority officials will meet with residents Thursday to discuss plans to either relocate or how to meet the criteria for returning to the new complex.

Louisville Metro Housing Authority Executive Director Tim Barry acknowledges the relocation process will be difficult for residents, but says the old barracks-style housing system is abysmal and most residents in the area want to leave.

“It needs to be replaced and it’s not fit for human habitation from the standpoint of its layout and design,” he says. “We can do better and we should do better…and I think that concentration of poverty stigmatizes people. I truly do, because it says to them in no uncertain terms because of your economic situation you’re not worthy of better housing. And I think that’s absolutely wrong.”

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Meeting For Sheppard Square Residents Is Thursday

The Louisville Metro Housing Authority will host a meeting tomorrow for people who will be displaced by the demolition of the Sheppard Square complex in the Smoketown neighborhood.

The city has received a $22 million federal grant to replace the barracks-style structures with mixed income housing, including some subsidized units.

The housing authority will soon begin interviewing Sheppard Square residents about where they’ll be relocated, and the criteria for obtaining housing in the new complex.

Officials say they’ll hold several informational meetings with residents.

Tomorrow’s meeting begins at 5:30pm at Meyzeek Middle School on South Jackson Street.

Environment Local News

RFK Jr. Helps Launch Green Housing, Jobs Partnership

Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spoke to a crowd gathered today in the parking lot of Liberty Green, a new green affordable housing development east of downtown Louisville.  Kennedy was on hand to help highlight a new federal, state, and city partnership to build more such housing, with the help of federal stimulus dollars and newly trained green collar workers.  Kennedy emphasized the importance of ridding the nation of fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable fuels, which he said would be cheaper in the long run.  But he also said the most important way to save energy dollars is efficiency.

“The cheapest energy we can create is through conservation, through places like this, by building new housing and new buildings and new factories that are energy efficient,” said Kennedy.

The Louisville Metro Housing Authority has applied to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department for stimulus funding to build more affordable green housing.

Note: Listen to an excerpt of Kennedy’s speech by clicking on the “Listen” button above.

Local News

TARC, Metro Housing Get First Stimulus Dollars

Louisville’s first projects to be funded with federal stimulus dollars have been announced.

More than $17 million will go to the Transit Authority of River City for, among other things, construction of a maintenance facility on West Broadway, improvements to existing maintenance buildings and the purchase of 10 hybrid buses.

Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville says the various TARC projects will create 250 jobs, most of them in construction.

“And also what this enables TARC to do is to save jobs. Because I think there were 15 or so bus driving jobs that would have been cut had it not been for this infusion of funding,” Yarmuth said.

Meanwhile the Louisville Metro Housing Authority is getting more than $2 million in stimulus funds for repair work at the Beecher Terrace and Dosker Manor public housing complexes.