The Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) is a collaborative effort to create and implement a dynamic and transformative plan for the Russell neighborhood, including the Beecher Terrace public housing development. Called Vision Russell, the initiative’s boundaries span from Market Street to Broadway, and from 9th to 32nd Streets. The planning phase of this work is funded through a $425,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that was awarded on January 16, 2015 and matched by a $600,000 leverage contribution from Louisville Metro Government. Vision Russell was also awarded a $1,000,000 CNI Action grant from HUD on June 28, 2016 to begin making physical improvements in the neighborhood that enhance and accelerate the implementation of Russell’s Transformation Plan. This grant is being matched with a $375,000 leverage contribution from Louisville Metro Government. To learn more, visit the Action Activities Grant Page. On December 12, 2016, the Louisville Metro Housing Authority was awarded a $29,575,000 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from HUD for the revitalization of the Russell neighborhood and redevelopment of the Beecher Terrace housing complex. Louisville,KY is the only city in the country to receive all three HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grants.
HUD’s CNI Program Three Broad Goals
Louisville’s CNI program has three broad goals:
- To transform Russell into a neighborhood of opportunity and choice with access to high quality amenities, services, schools, early learning programs, employment opportunities, and public transit.
- To revitalize Beecher Terrace into energy efficient, mixed-income housing as part of an overall plan for improving the Russell neighborhood.
- To attract investments to the Russell neighborhood that improve the quality of life for all residents.
Vision Russell and its Transformation Plan is product of a months-long community engagement process involving a diverse cross-section of the community. Nearly 600 Russell residents, stakeholders, and organizations, that bring a strong history and boundless energy to this initiative, worked together to develop this long-range, community-endorsed plan. A Coordinating Committee and Task Force groups have been meeting regularly to develop an implementable and financially feasible plan that is focused on four broad components – People, Education, Housing and Neighborhood. These groups are committed to providing the expertise and resources needed to realize the vision of a revitalized Russell over the coming years. To see a list of partnering organizations, visit Vision Russell Partners.
Vision Russell Task Force Groups
The Vision Russell Transformation Plan includes short and long-range goals and strategies for the following four components:
PEOPLE: Plans to improve community and supportive services for youth and their families.
EDUCATION: Plans to improve children’s ability to succeed in school and be prepared for occupations that are personally and financially rewarding.
HOUSING: Plans to transform distressed public and assisted housing and create high-quality, energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that responds to the needs of the neighborhood.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Plans to create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in Russell that will offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activities, that are important to families’ choices about their community.
Community participation and input is essential to the successful development and implementation of a truly transformative plan for Russell. Therefore, continuous efforts are being made to keep residents and stakeholders informed and involved throughout the entire planning process. Extensive input is being gathered from residents, stakeholders and business owners on Russell’s needs and strengths through a series of surveys, community conversations, meetings, and workshops. A team of Neighborhood Outreach Workers (NOWs) is also gathering input from residents and stakeholders by going door-to-door throughout the neighborhood, and attending community events. The NOWs are also distributing information about Vision Russell’s efforts, and newsletters highlighting planning activities and our progress to date, are mailed to every household in the neighborhood. To see past newsletters click here.