Beecher Terrace to be torn down as part of $29.5 million HUD grant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – One of Louisville’s most notorious housing projects is coming down.

The Beecher Terrace complex will be torn down and rebuilt as part of $29.5 million HUD grant that was announced on Monday.

"Today's announcement is a major step to further ensure that west Louisville shares in the renaissance of our city," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday.

As part of that revitalization, the Beecher Terrace housing complex will be torn down.

“Honestly, I think there's too much violence going on down here, so maybe it’s for the best,” said Beecher Terrace resident Bridget Wilder.

This is not the first time an endeavor has been undertaken to revitalize an often-criticized housing complex in Louisville.

“We've gotten better with each grant,” said Tim Berry, Executive Director of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. “We have to make sure we do right by (the residents), and with each grant we get a little bit better.”

Several years ago, public housing complexes at Sheppard Square and Liberty Green were torn down and then rebuilt. However, Berry said there is a clear distinction between those tear-downs and the one that will eventually happen at Beecher Terrace.

“We need to spend as much time and attention on the Russell neighborhood as we do on Beecher Terrace,” Berry said of the plan to also upgrade the areas around Beecher Terrace.

When the housing complex is torn down, residents will have to move away either to Section 8 or public “scattered sites” that are around the county. Once completed, residents would have the option of returning to Beecher Terrace.

“People, at least initially, want section 8 or some of our scattered sites that we have all over the county,” Berry said.

While crime has been an ongoing issue at Beecher Terrace, city leaders say they don’t expect it to spread out once Beecher Terrace is torn down.

“That’s more of an urban legend,” Mayor Fischer said. “Data doesn't support that. What we do know is that dense concentrations of poverty lead to more crime.”

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