KY River Properties Makes $500,000 Donation to Help Flood Survivors

HAZARD, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2022) – At the start of the giving season, one local business decided to make a significant gift to aid flood recovery efforts in the area.

Kentucky River Properties, a land corporation with holdings in Perry, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Harlan, Clay, and Breathitt counties, donated $500,000 to be split between the Housing Development Alliance (HDA) and HOMES, Inc., two nonprofit affordable housing developers leading the charge to rebuild in the region’s four hardest flood-hit counties.

Housing in the four counties was devastated by the July flood. FEMA and the Red Cross report 2,132 homes were majorly damaged or destroyed by the unprecedented flooding in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, and Perry counties, and over 4,800 people have reported needing shelter. Officials said the funding will be used to help people whose homes were damaged.

“The employees, management committee, and unitholders of Kentucky River Properties wanted to provide additional assistance to HDA and HOMES to help families displaced by the historic flooding,” said Stephen Barker, president of Kentucky River Properties. “Like many people in Eastern Kentucky, most of Kentucky River’s employees suffered damage to their homes.”

Barker continued, “We are thankful for all of the federal, state, and local government assistance, and for the tremendous help from churches, businesses, and our friends and neighbors, who provided help for the people of Eastern Kentucky during this devastating flood. The response has been tremendous, but we have a long road to recovery for many people.”

According to officials at HDA, the donation is the largest corporate gift the Hazard-based nonprofit has ever received.

“The need is so huge it is almost overwhelming,” said Scott McReynolds, HDA’s executive director. “So, our goal, as always, has been to help as many people as much as possible as fast as possible. This incredibly generous donation will help us serve at least another 10 families immediately.”

To date, HDA has served over 60 families with its flood relief and recovery efforts, which include muck outs, home repairs/rehabs, and new home construction. McReynolds said HDA is in the process of doubling its construction crews to help meet the community’s housing needs, with plans to build 20 new homes and complete 50 home rehabs and repairs over the next year.

HDA staff carpenters raise the wall on a new flood survivor home. 20 new homes are planned for construction in 2023.

The need is similarly great in Letcher County, where HOMES is assisting the community with flood recovery. Over 33 percent of all households in Letcher County have requested assistance from FEMA, making the donation from Kentucky River Properties a much welcomed one as the agency attempts to fulfill the county’s housing needs, as well as the needs in portions of Knott, Floyd, Pike, and Harlan counties.

Seth Long, executive director of HOMES, estimates that 25 percent of the houses in his service area were not habitable after the flood.

“We are so thankful for this significant donation as it helps us help flood survivors quickly!” Long said. “We’ve been working hard to provide housing opportunities. Many families are still displaced, living with extended family or in temporary shelter.”

He noted, “Along with building new homes and renovating homes for flood survivors, we’ve added 5 new rental homes to our rental program and have rented houses to 10 displaced families.”

Long said HOMES, Inc.’s first flood survivor home funded by the Foundation of Appalachian Kentucky’s Housing Can’t Wait Initiative will be finished by Christmas.

Barker, speaking on behalf of Kentucky River Properties, said their donation will aid HDA and HOMES in fulfilling their respective missions of providing quality, safe, and affordable housing for the people of Eastern Kentucky.

Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to pray for the many families who lost loved ones in this disaster,” Barker said. “We are confident that HDA and HOMES will use this donation to repair and rebuild homes for people affected by this once-in-a-lifetime flood.”

To help flood recovery efforts in East Kentucky through HDA and HOMES, give online at and/or

Flood survivors in Breathitt, Knott, and Perry counties who are in need of a new home or flood repairs should contact the HDA office by calling 606-436-0497. For those who need to reach out to HOMES for assistance, please call 606-632-1717.

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