HDA Purchases Gurney's Bend from City of Hazard

Construction of 15 Homes Begins This Month

HAZARD, Ky. – The Allais Redevelopment Project is officially moving into its final phase.

Scott McReynolds, the Executive Director of the Housing Development Alliance (HDA), met with City of Hazard Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini last Thursday to purchase the land from the city and sign the deed, making the transfer of ownership official.

Now, the project, which is a partnership between the City of Hazard and HDA, will move into its concluding stage, which involves the building of a 15-home subdivision called Gurney’s Bend. Every home in this new community is affordable for low-income families, and to date, all 15 lots available in Gurney’s Bend have been pre-sold to qualifying families in HDA’s Homeownership Program.

“We are very excited to own the property and have paperwork submitted to our funders requesting permission to start building the houses,” said Chris Doll, HDA’s Chief Operating Officer. “It is our hope to break ground later this month.”

The Allais Redevelopment Project has been over a year-long commitment for the City of Hazard, with city officials overseeing the first two phases of the project that involved the demolition of an abandoned strip mall and clearing and preparing the land for construction. Local engineers recently completed work on water and sewer lines, the addition of sidewalks, and a blacktopped access road for the new community. 

Future site of Gurney's Bend, a 15-home affordable housing subdivision built by HDA

Mayor Mobelini said he is excited about the progression of the project.

“It’s really the perfect thing for us to be partnered with HDA,” the mayor said. “I believe this is the first new subdivision of homes to be built in the original city limits for many years. And these are all reasonably priced houses.”

According to HDA officials, the least expensive new homes being built in the area in the private sector have a price point of $175,000 and above. In contrast, each of the homes being built in Gurney’s Bend will be sold for around $120,000, making them far more affordable for low-income families. With over 45 percent of households in HDA’s service area living on less than $42,000 a year, affordable housing is a huge need, especially since it continues to be in short supply.

Gurney’s Bend is named for acclaimed Appalachian writer and Hazard native, Gurney Norman, who grew up in the Allais section of Hazard. The community will feature a couple of new home designs by HDA, with one of the designs being called “The Hawkins” after Mr. Norman’s wife, Nyoka Hawkins.

Officials with HDA are currently exploring the possibility of holding a virtual groundbreaking event for Gurney’s Bend when construction begins this spring.

For more information about HDA’s programs and projects, visit www.hdahome.org or call HDA at 606-436-0497.

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