The planning phase of this work was funded through a $425,000 CNI Planning grant from HUD that was awarded on January 16, 2015 and matched by a $600,000 leverage contribution from Louisville Metro Government. The culmination of this effort was the development of The Vision Russell Transformation Plan (VRTP). The VRTP was completed in Janaury 2017, and adopted by Louisville Metro Planning Commission as Russell’s official neighborhood plan.
Activities that took place during the two-year planning process included:
- Conducting a needs assessment with Beecher Terrace households, as well as an in-depth survey with Russell’s residents,
- Holding task force and community meetings, design workshops, and special focus groups,
- Offering training sessions where community members could learn more about the planning process and build capacity to take part in and lead the implementation process,
- Organizing youth engagement activities,
- Working with Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School to improve student outcomes,
- Master planning activities to envision the redevelopment of Beecher Terrace into a sustainable, mixed-income community,
- Working with other housing providers in the neighborhood to improve their properties,
- Conducting a market assessment of the Russell neighborhood,
- Completing initial environmental assessments, and
- Developing a comprehensive transformation plan for Russell.
The Vision Russell Transformation Plan includes short and long-range goals and strategies focused on four key 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.