Russell neighborhood awarded $1 million HUD grant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Russell neighborhood awarded $1 million HUD grant

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- People in the Russell neighborhood are getting $1 million.

The money is part of a grant from HUD that will allow the people who live and work there to have a lot of say in how it is spent.

"A lot of residents can't afford the places you go to pay to exercise, and so we figured walking is free," said Julia Robinson, who walks the Russell neighborhood.

Robinson and some neighbors recently started a walking club in the Russell neighborhood.

"We meet right here on the corner of 18th and Ali, and we use the Russell apartments, we use the perimeter of the apartments as our course," Robinson said.

It's nice when the weather cooperates, that's why Robinson and other walkers would love a plan B.

"It would be nice to have a community center," she said. "Maybe with an indoor track."

And that might not be too much of a stretch.

"HUD, as well as everyone here, stands ready to take this moment and make this neighborhood a neighborhood of opportunity," said Christopher Taylor, HUD Kentucky Field Office Director.

Friday morning, HUD awarded the city and Metro Housing Department with a $1 million choice neighborhood grant.

"This new funding takes us another step, a big step forward in the revitalization of the Russell neighborhood and Beecher Terrace," said Congressman John Yarmuth.

Mayor Greg Fischer, Congressman Yarmuth and Councilman David Tandy accepted the ceremonial check, and then Yarmuth took aim at a politician who was not there.

"Probably the best news about this is that thankfully Gov. Bevin can't send the money back," Yarmuth said.

Meanwhile, neighbors will determine how the money is spent.

WDRB's Stephan Johnson asked the executive director of Metro Housing: "When somebody says, they want Wifi or they want to fix abandoned properties, you guys will really consider that?" Tim Barry answered, "Absolutely, yeah, we'll do more than consider it, they, the Russell residents will drive how this money is spent."

As Robinson wrapped up her daily walk, she believes getting feedback from neighbors is definitely a step in the right direction.

"I mean, you need to be able to walk on a course that you know you're not going to trip and fall," she said.

The Housing Authority is considering several options. That includes a vote or election.

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