HUD gives $4 million grant for Beecher Terrace in Louisville

December 27, 2019 | McCormack Baron Salazar

LOUISVILLE (December 27, 2019) – Mayor Greg Fischer and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth announced today that Louisville’s Choice Neighborhoods program in Russell is receiving a $4 million federal grant to further its work on the Beecher Terrace revitalization. This is Louisville’s fourth Choice Neighborhoods grant for the Russell neighborhood, having previously received a Choice planning grant, a Choice action grant, and a Choice implementation grant.

Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) is among five Choice Neighborhood Implementation (CNI) grantees awarded the supplement grants. In making the award, HUD noted that several current CNI grantees with large sites “are struggling to meet the one-for-one replacement requirement within the constraints of the $30 million maximum funding from the CNI grant. The CNI grant provides only a fraction of the funding needed to rebuild with quality, mixed-income housing.”

Louisville won its $29.5 million Choice Neighborhood grant in 2016, and is using that funding for one-for-one replacement of affordable units by offering a variety of mixed-income housing options for individuals and families, both within the on-site phase of redevelopment at Beecher Terrace, and at off-site locations in high-opportunity neighborhoods throughout the city.

Revitalization efforts will ultimately bring in another $200 million of public and private investment dollars to the Russell neighborhood. Work at Beecher Terrace broke ground in March, and the first residents will be welcomed back into the new renovated, mixed-income housing units in Fall 2020.

“Our city has long been the national model for the success of HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods and HOPE VI programs, and this fourth investment is another sign of the progress being made to improve not just housing in our city but to also provide better infrastructure, better schools, and better services to west Louisville residents,” Rep. Yarmuth said. “The revitalization of Beecher Terrace is key to helping bridge the ‘Ninth Street Divide,’ and I’m glad that local residents have been on the front lines of this initiative to reimagine and reinvest in one of the most historically and culturally rich parts of our city.”

Mayor Fischer noted today that, “It’s critical that the changes in Russell benefit the people who call this community home today. We’ve taken steps to help ensure that, giving former Beecher Terrace residents a lifetime preference on the new replacement units so they’ll have the option to stay in their neighborhood.”

The supplemental grant will help cover increased housing costs.  LMHA will continue to use its 2016 CNI grant award to providing residents with support services, including case management, job training, health assistance and more, said LMHA Board Chair Manfred Reid, Sr.

The Choice Supplemental grant funds can only be used for Beecher Terrace replacement housing units, and the terms of the grant give LMHA an additional two years to complete all 758 housing units, the last of which will be complete by 2025.

“These additional funds will ensure that the team meets our commitment to the community to provide long-term affordable housing and ongoing case management support for all of the original Beecher families - and that we do it in the most efficient way,” said Laura Kinsell-Baer, Vice President, McCormack Baron Salazar.