Distressed Public Housing and HOPE VI Revitalization: An Analysis of Park DuValle in Louisville, Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Park Du Valle is a new residential development situated in the southwest comer of Louisville, Kentucky's, predominantly African American West End. Funded in part by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOPE VI program, Park DuValle is one of more than 150 such projects that have been initiated in cities across the U.S. in an unprecedented effort to revitalize the nation's most distressed public housing. With its winding streets and neotraditional style detached housing, the development stands in stark contrast to what once stood here. The 1,116 unit Cotter- Lang homes, a 1950s era public housing project built on the site of a neighborhood known as Little Africa, was demolished between 1996 and 1998 to make way for Park DuValle. Using the Park Du Valle site as a case study, this dissertation will provide (1) an analysis of the social, economic, and political processes that gave rise to conditions of distress in Cotter-Lang Homes and its surrounding community, and (2) an assessment of the Park DuValle HOPE VI revitalization's effectiveness in remedying these conditions. My analysis of the emergence of public housing distress will consider three sets of factors: (1) race relations and racial residential segregation; (2) economic processes such as restructuring and urban disinvestment; and (3) housing policy formulation and implementation. Once I have ascertained the extent to which these sets of factors contributed to conditions of distress in Cotter- Lang Homes and its surrounding community, I will assess the Park DuValle revitalization initiative in terms of (1) the impact of fair housing efforts and affirmative marketing strategies on reducing racial residential segregation; (2) the impact of poverty deconcentration and economic devel(jpment initiatives on reducing concentrations of poverty and spurring economic revitalization; and (3) the impact of public housing reforms and public-private partnerships on the planning, design, tenant participation, financing, implementation, and management. My methodological approach will incorporate archival research, analyses of statistical data, interview and survey techniques, and textual analysis. The wide range of factors I am taking into consideration, and the variety of data sources I am utilizing, are most effectively analyzed through a mixed-methodology approach. The locational focus of a case study approach will also enable me to examine in more depth and detail the factors under consideration, and to develop greater familiarity and rapport with the individuals I will be associating with, than a multi-site study would allow for. Through this research, I intend to make a unique contribution to the existing literature assessing the HOPE VI program by directly linking my assessment of the Park Du Valle revitalization initiative to a comprehensive historical and contemporary analysis of the social, economic, and political processes underlying the conditions of distress that the HOPE VI program has set out to address. My dissertation will also seek to contribute policy-relevant findings that bear directly upon HUD's goals and objectives, specifically objectives 2.2, "minorities and low-income people are not isolated geographically in America," and 4.2, "economic conditions in distressed communities improve"(USDHUD 2001).
Effective start/end date9/27/028/31/04


  • Department of Housing and Urban Development: $19,220.00


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