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KDVA: For Abuse Survivors, a Safe Place to Call Home

August 15, 2011

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Providing affordable and safe housing for survivors of domestic violence is the goal of a new housing development project by the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (KDVA). A partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, which administers low-income housing tax credits, federal grants and low-interest loans, has made it possible.

Mary O'Doherty, economic empowerment project director for KDVA, says the energy-efficient apartments will put abuse survivors and their families on a path to greater self-sufficiency.

"This is 48 units of permanent supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence; the units are built at four sites across the state. We were able to do this because we were given tax credits by the Kentucky Housing Corporation."

The development is part of KDVA Homes, a $5.5 million supportive housing project to help poverty-stricken abuse victims. Apartments in Morehead were completed in April and 22 in Louisville will be finished by month's end. An open house for units in Paducah and Murray is scheduled for Thursday.

O'Doherty says most of the tenants will likely receive rent assistance.

"The rent for most of the units will be paid with Section 8 vouchers; the women will be expected to pay rent that equals about 30 percent of their income."

The KDVA, an association of the state's 15 domestic violence programs, says the housing complexes complement the group's other self-sufficiency efforts, helping survivors save money for education, a vehicle, home, or small business.

"We see KDVA Homes as really a way to help women start fresh new lives. And, we hope that the economic empowerment programming that these shelters are offering will be used in tandem."

The Housing Partnership, Incorporated, a Louisville nonprofit developer of affordable housing, and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises in Berea also worked with the KDVA on the housing project.

Renee Shaw, Public News Service - KY