Special Groundbreaking

AEP Foundation Donates $150,000 to HDA Rebuilding Efforts

Groundbreaking to be held July 21st

HAZARD, Ky. (July 20, 2023) – As Eastern Kentucky prepares to commemorate 1 year since the devastating 2022 floods, Kentucky Power’s parent company, American Electric Power (AEP), is making a huge investment in local rebuilding efforts. 

On Monday, officials with the company announced the AEP Foundation will donate $150,000 to the Housing Development Alliance (HDA), a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Hazard that has pledged to build 20 new homes and complete 40-50 home repairs and rehabilitations for flood survivors within a single year.

Cindy Wiseman, Kentucky Power President and COO, said the contribution was made in support of the Foundation’s commitment to provide basic human services, in the areas of hunger and housing, to ensure that people have access to these necessities in order to build successful lives.

“To be a part of the rebuilding plans HDA has designed to help survivors of the floods that ravaged the homes and lives of many last year, is more than a privilege, it’s a vocation,” said Wiseman. “HDA is a laudable community partner doing amazing work to provide affordable housing with energy efficiency standards in southeastern Kentucky counties. That means the real beneficiaries are our customers. So, it’s a mission well-aligned with our own commitment to assist with the housing needs of those in the communities we serve.”

Nearly 11,500 people in Breathitt, Knott, and Perry counties – 3 of the 4 counties served by HDA – were directly impacted by last year’s flooding. HDA estimates that over 4,600 homes will need to be replaced. Agency officials report construction is underway, with 8 new homes completed and 32 flood-damaged homes successfully rehabbed.

Funding from the AEP Foundation will be used to build a new, energy efficient 4-bedroom, 2-bath home for a flood survivor in Breathitt County, as well as for various other construction and home repair projects throughout HDA’s flood-hit counties.

Officials with HDA say funding from AEP comes at a significant time, especially as new weather-related disasters continue to occur all over the country, which understandably draw potential funders and volunteers away from Eastern Kentucky.

“A year after the floods, people in Eastern Kentucky are still in great need of help. Hundreds of folks in our area had their homes destroyed and hundreds more can no longer live in their homes due to major flood damage,” said HDA Executive Director Scott McReynolds.
“It’s going to take years for our area to rebuild and recover, but with partnerships like this one with Kentucky Power and the AEP Foundation, we’ll have the resources we need to build faster and get survivors back into good homes that will never flood again or make their existing home better and safer,” McReynolds added.

A special groundbreaking ceremony will take place just off Highway 30 East on Peach Tree Lane in Jackson at 10 a.m. on Fri., July 21. The event will mark the start of AEP-funded projects with HDA for flood survivors over the next year, with the groundbreaking itself happening on the site of where a new flood survivor home will soon stand.

On Peach Tree Lane, HDA has built 2 new homes for Breathitt County flood survivors, has 3 homes currently at some stage of construction, and has 2 more lots on the property, where new energy efficient 3 and 4-bedroom homes will be constructed. With work getting underway on the AEP-funded home on Mon., July 24, the new home is expected to be occupied by early 2024.

About the AEP Foundation

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) and its operating subsidiaries. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math; by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger; and championing social and racial justice. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, promote healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

About Housing Development Alliance, Inc.

Serving Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry counties, the Housing Development Alliance (HDA) is a 29-year-old nonprofit housing developer that serves as lender, counselor, developer, and contractor for low-income persons in need of housing assistance. We work with multiple organizations within the Federal, State, and Local governments and in the private sector to help individuals break down barriers to access the resources they need to build financial stability through affordable housing. For more information, visit www.hdahome.org.

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