Last night, close to 200 people showed up to listen to the Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s plan for relocating Sheppard Square’s roughly 270 households.
Fortunately this time around LMHA brought with them a translator for Sheppard Square’s dozens of Somali families, something they’d neglected to do in past meetings.
Come winter, Sheppard Square is scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt as a mixed-income housing development similar to Liberty Green. The city won a $22 million federal grant that will act as seed money for the $167 million dollar project.
So, what did residents learn?
Social workers and case managers will start interviewing residents in August to gauge their needs.
They will get money to move or can have LMHA pay for a moving company. The demolition is tentatively planned to start on the west side of the building.
And according to a sheet given out at the front door of Meyzeek Middle School where the meeting was held, residents have three relocation options:
1. Traditional public housing
2. Scattered site public housing (if qualified)
3. Section 8 vouchers (if qualified)
Nowhere on the handout did it mention qualifications for coming back. It wasn’t until a former resident of Sheppard Square asked about it did LMHA simply say, “We don’t know the criteria yet,” adding that all former residents will get letters when construction is complete.
A woman sitting in front of me muttered, “It won’t matter.”
She’s got a point. For whatever reason, be it strict guidelines prohibiting people from coming back or former residents just not wanting to move for a second time after already being relocated, few have returned to Liberty Green (formerly Clarksdale). As LEO reported in June, roughly 43 families of Clarksdale’s 600+ households have returned.