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Louisville housing leader says demolition of Dosker Manor is the ‘best option’

Louisville lawmakers say they want to push for fixes at the troubled Dosker Manor public housing complex.
Jacob Ryan
Dosker Manor’s buildings are more than 50 years old, and the complex has failed multiple federally mandated inspections.

Worsening conditions and lack of security at Dosker Manor could mean the organization that manages the property will demolish and replace the affordable housing buildings.

Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s (LMHA) Executive Director Elizabeth Strojan said Wednesday demolition is the “best option” for Dosker Manor near downtown Louisville.

The over 650-unit affordable housing complex has been plagued by poor living conditions, security issues and has been long in need of repairs.

In a Metro Council committee meeting Wednesday, Strojan presented LMHA’s plan for the city’s affordable housing complexes, and said there’s two options for Dosker Manor – rehabilitate the buildings or demolish them.

“It is again not ideal to substantially rehabilitate. Our best option we believe is to demolish the existing buildings and rebuild replacement housing both on and off site,” she said.

Strojan’s comments are not an official move forward for LMHA, but do confirm an intention to relocate residents in the future.

Dosker Manor’s buildings are more than 50 years old, and the complex has failed multiple federally mandated inspections. Residents have complained of mold, bed bugs, lack of security and other maintenance issues.

Strojan said regardless of whether the agency chooses to rehabilitate or demolish the buildings, officials will have to start relocation planning for Dosker Manor residents.

“We cannot keep going like we're going, we cannot maintain the status quo of Dosker Manor that's on one side of the spectrum,” she said.

Strojan said the agency is planning to relocate residents and will hire housing mobility and relocation specialists to help, calling it “an intensive process.”

“Because it's a lot of people. It's a lot of one-bedroom units and efficiency units. And that is something that we have a shortage of in the city of Louisville. It’s also a population that’s going to need a lot of support,” she said.

LMHA is a quasi-governmental organization that oversees nearly 16,000 affordable housing units in Jefferson County. They are also responsible for providing thousands of Section 8 vouchers.

In January, Strojan took over as Executive Director of LMHA and said tearing down Dosker Manor was a “serious consideration,” but more time was needed to assess conditions.

The agency is currently conducting residential needs assessment surveys with Dosker Manor residents. Next, the agency will have focus groups, relocation surveys and hold relocation planning meetings at the end of May, Strojan said.

“So talking more with people so we can inform the future planning process of Dosker Manor as well, and very specific relocation meetings to talk about what [their] options are, what resources are available, what rights and responsibilities people have in this process, and so much more to come,” she said.

Strojan said the agency is also working on finding financing and development partners for redevelopment efforts.

If LMHA moves forward with demolition, they would need approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Louisville Metro Codes and Regulations. They would also be required to follow federal guidelines for the relocation process.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.

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