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US Department of Housing and Urban Development approves Shawnee Neighborhood Revitalization Plan

Sunday September 29, 2013

For Immediate Release
Democratic Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622

Louisville – After months of hard work and community discussion, Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5) learned on Thursday that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has given approval of the Shawnee Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) Plan.

“This is great news as we continue our efforts to revitalize one of Metro Louisville’s oldest areas,” says Hamilton. “This approval will have an impact on homeowners and businesses with assistance to rehabilitate the neighborhood and restart economic development, something critically needed in our area.”

With federal approval, $2 million dollars will be allocated over a five year period to focus on housing rehabilitation and economic development in the Shawnee area. The activities supported by the NRSA funding will be leveraged by a range of activities that involve the coordinated effort of Louisville Metro Community Services and Revitalization Department and other Metro Agencies.

“Many homeowners will see an opportunity to make home repairs that will help sustain families and neighborhoods. These funds will also help us revitalize West Market Street and encourage startup businesses while helping existing businesses grow,” said Hamilton.

Here are the key areas of the NRSA grant funds:

Homeowner Rehabilitation

· LMCSR will rehabilitate 115 owner-occupied housing units in the neighborhood.

· A maximum of $24,999 will be available per qualified household.

· LMCSR’s Residential Repair Team will administer the NRSA rehab with a focus on exterior repairs and health and safety code violations.

· Improvements may include repair or replacement of windows, front and back entry doors, concrete, roofs, paint, vinyl siding, stairs, shutters, security windows and doors, and gutters.

· Where needed, lead-safe work will be done and code violations will be addressed.

· To make the greatest impact in the neighborhood with a small amount of homes undergoing dramatic repairs, Metro will take a targeted approach to the NRSA homeowner rehabilitation program by prioritizing major street corridors as investment areas. Streets to be targeted:

o West Market Street

o River Park Drive

o Southwestern/Northwestern Parkways

o West Muhammad Ali Boulevard

o Vermont Avenue

o Broadway

As this is a five year plan, each corridor will be targeted for outreach individually and resident demand will be assessed before targeting the next priority area.

As the West Market Street Zone is the priority area for housing re-investment identified by residents in the 2013 Shawnee Neighborhood Plan, West Market Street from 34th Street (Louis Coleman Jr. Drive) to Shawnee Park will be the first target area for homeowner improvements.

The LMCSR Residential Repair Team is currently planning a “Home Repair Blitz” to be held in November 2013 at NorthWest Neighborhood Place. The Home Repair Blitz will educate residents about the NRSA Homeowner Rehabilitation program as well as existing Metro home repair services, including Weatherization, the Emergency Repair Program, and Lead Safe Louisville.

Economic Development

· LMCSR will expand its Micro-Enterprise development and lending program

· Additional services targeted to Shawnee to meet the anticipated increase in demand created by planned NRSA and West Market Street Corridor investments.

· Targeted LMCSR economic development activities may also include larger business loans and internal and external technical assistance to new businesses and those seeking to expand.

· Initial Micro-Enterprise activities will include:

o outreach to neighborhood organizations and existing businesses to introduce the microbusiness program to residents

o creating a micro-business training program for Shawnee Residents

o providing loan financing to Shawnee businesses to help start new enterprises or expand existing businesses.

Additionally, LMCSR will target its existing metro-wide programs to the neighborhood to truly leverage the impact of the NRSA investment including Weatherization, the Emergency Repair Program, Lead Safe Louisville, job training, the Family Economic Success Program, and financial management workshops.

To help ensure that NRSA investments impact neighborhood businesses, LMCSR will provide education and technical assistance for potential contractors and subcontractors on the Metro bidding process and approval as a Metro Government contractor or subcontractor.

“As we begin to make these improvements in rehabilitation and economic development, the city has plans to work on infrastructure,” said Hamilton. “The 2013 CDBG Budget includes $150,000 to fund public improvements.”

Those improvements include reconstruction of sidewalks to increase accessibility and public safety will be the primary activity of this investment.

Sponsor:
Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5