Governor Announces Second Rebuilding Site

HDA Also Receives Nonprofit Assistance Fund Dollars

HAZARD, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2023) – Today, in keeping with his priorities to support health and safety, along with fostering economic development in the commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear announced over $8 million in awards for Perry County, including waterline updates, sewer infrastructure projects and nonprofit assistance.

“Clean water is a basic human right,” Gov. Beshear said. “As Governor, and also as a dad, I want to make sure all of our families can turn on their faucets and know that water is safe to give their children. I was proud to visit Perry County today, where we are improving water safety and service for thousands of families. We are also supporting seven local nonprofits that make such a difference in this community.”

The Governor announced seven awards from his Nonprofit Assistance Fund, which helps organizations across Kentucky recover from the effects of the pandemic. The fund provides one-time direct relief payments to support long-term sustainability of eligible nonprofits.

The Housing Development Alliance (HDA) and CDFI Redbud Financial Alternatives (Redbud) both received $100,000 from the fund.

HDA is a nonprofit affordable housing developer. Our programs have helped more than 2,900 low-income people in rural southeastern Kentucky become new homeowners, make home-improving repairs, and break free of debt. In addition to the Nonprofit Assistance Fund award, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund committed $600,000 in funds to build eight new homes in partnership with the HDA and HOMES, Inc. The fund is also providing $75,000 per home for building materials.

“The Housing Development Alliance is so grateful to Gov. Beshear and Team Kentucky for this much-needed funding,” said Executive Director R. Scott McReynolds. “From COVID-19 to flood disasters in 2021 and 2022, we’ve seen the level of need in our community continue to rise. This funding will keep us strong and will help us expand our construction crews from 5 to 10 as we work to serve the growing affordable housing needs of low-income Eastern Kentuckians.”

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Redbud helps Eastern Kentuckians navigate difficult financial times and reach life goals such as homeownership and financial stability.

Redbud‘s mission is to transform credit from an obstacle to an opportunity. We provide an alternative to predatory lenders that take advantage of individuals, families and communities facing hard times,” said CDFI Director James Caudill. “Our financial services help Eastern Kentuckians navigate difficult economic situations, like the one many are experiencing due to the flood. With the support of the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund, we’ll continue using our financial products to help flood survivors achieve housing and overall financial stability.”

Other nonprofits awarded funding were the Challenger Learning Center of KY, Go-Hire Employment & Development, Salvation Army of Perry County, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), and the Appalachian Arts Alliance. 

At right, James Caudill, CDFI Director of Redbud Financial Alternatives, Inc., accepts a check from Gov. Beshear's Nonprofit Assistance Fund. HDA was also awarded funding at the day's special announcement ceremony.

As part of his ongoing commitment to help Eastern Kentucky rebuild after devastating flooding six months ago, Gov. Beshear also announced a second location for new, high-ground homes.

Located just five miles from downtown Hazard, the 50-acre building site is close to schools, shopping centers and the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Plans for the first phase of the site include approximately 150 houses, partially funded by the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund in partnership with local nonprofit builders (HDA and HOMES, Inc.). 

“Rebuilding on high ground is a chance to lift up entire communities with upgraded infrastructure and safe, affordable, energy-efficient homes,” Gov. Beshear said. “But our work in Eastern Kentucky is not done until there is prosperity in the entire region.”

The Ison family is contributing prime land for the project.

“This land is located near the heart of Hazard and can be a real boost to the community. There’s really no better use for such a great piece of land than to improve housing. Better and more housing attracts better jobs and a better future,” said Paul Ison.

Additional parcels of land will be developed in later project phases.

“To be at this point so quickly is a great day for the community. As we work to rebuild and recover, housing is one of the biggest issues that we face,” Perry County Judge/Executive Scott Alexander said. “Perry County was in a housing crisis prior to the July 2022 flood disaster. Now we are in a catastrophic housing situation. I want to thank Gov. Beshear and his team, as well as the legislators, for such a quick response to working with Perry County to help solve the housing situation.”

The state continues to evaluate multiple sites in four counties: Perry, Knott, Letcher and Breathitt. These counties account for a combined 75% of the homes lost to flood damage.

Extensive geotechnical testing will be conducted on all potential building sites at appropriate times in the planning and construction process.

The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund committed $600,000 in funds to build eight new homes in partnership with the Housing Development Alliance and Homes, Inc. The fund is providing $75,000 per home for building materials.

The fund is also assisting flood survivors with home repairs by providing $200,000 in matching funds through a partnership with Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. The money will go directly to individuals and families located outside of a designated flood plain for essential repairs with no administrative costs.

Housing can’t wait. Repairing and building homes is our highest priority and our No. 1 need across the region. This matching grant means that 80 additional families can benefit from little- or no-cost repairs,” said Gerry Roll, chief executive officer of Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. “We believe that reclaiming the power of community for Appalachian Kentucky begins with investing in the people rooted here.”

Read the original press releases from the Governor’s Office here and here

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