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Yarmuth, Fischer, and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Announce $22 Million HOPE VI Housing Revitalization Effort in Smoketown

(Louisville, KY ) Today, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan joined Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) and Mayor Greg Fischer in Smoketown to announce that Louisville’s application for $22 million in HOPE VI program funding for the revitalization of Sheppard Square has been approved.

“I encouraged our Housing Authority to apply for this HOPE VI grant and urged Secretary Donovan approve the funding because of the enormous impact it will have in revitalization of such an important part of our community,” said Congressman Yarmuth.

“With the help of Congressman John Yarmuth’s leadership hundreds more Louisville families will have the opportunity to live in vibrant mixed-income communities thanks to the $22 million dollar HOPE VI grant awarded today,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “HOPE VI has improved housing conditions for hundreds of communities and most importantly, thousands of families around the country including right here in Louisville. As we move toward the next generation of neighborhood revitalization—one that links housing, education, transportation, healthcare, and other support services—we will continue to build on the exceptional track record of HOPE VI.” 

In the summer of 2009, Congressman Yarmuth strongly encouraged the Louisville Metro Housing Authority to apply for a HOPE VI grant for the Sheppard Square Public Housing Development.  Recognizing the critical importance of the project, Congressman Yarmuth also contacted Secretary Donovan to urge approval of Louisville’s application

The HOPE VI initiative was launched in 1992 to transform failing American public housing projects into mixed-income, mixed-use developments to break-up the concentration of poverty, promote resident self-sufficiency, and revitalize entire communities.

“Good-quality housing and sustainable communities are essential in enhancing Kentuckians’ overall quality of life,” said Governor Steve Beshear.  “Hope VI helps our communities to maintain and achieve lasting sustainability.”  

The revitalization plan for Sheppard Square consists of 450 homes, including a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings designed to compliment the architecture of the neighborhood. Off-site units in the Family Scholar House will also be developed, as well as single-family homes mostly scattered throughout a 3-mile radius of the existing development.  The Old Presbyterian Community Center will be rehabilitated and expanded into community space and housing targeted for elderly and disabled veterans.  The revitalization of Sheppard Square will also focus on creating energy-efficient housing with easy access to transit connections and public green space. 

"This project will not only revitalize Smoketown, it will provide safer and better housing for working families," Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Louisville is also home to Park DuValle and Liberty Green.  These award winning projects are among the most successful HOPE VI projects in the country and are considered national models.

Congressman Yarmuth's Letter to Secretary Donovan (05/23/1109:14 AMET )
Congressman Yarmuth's letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, urging the Secretary to support Louisville's application for HOPE VI funding to revitalize the Sheppard Square housing development in Smoketown.