KY’s Rural Housing Trust Fund Plays Critical Role in Disaster Recovery
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
The Kentucky Housing Corporation has received applications for housing funding from the state's Rural Housing Trust Fund requesting more than $18 million for rebuilding single family homes in regions of the state still recovering from catastrophic flooding and tornadoes.
Wendy Smith, deputy executive director of the Kentucky Housing Corporation, explained very few affected homeowners carry flood insurance, and homeowners' policies typically do not cover flooding. She said money from the trust fund will be critical for helping middle and moderate income Kentuckians rebuild their houses.
"We are viewing this allocation of state dollars as a really flexible source to keep the pipeline of housing work in recovery going," Smith noted. "And to grow it before the big federal money arrives."
According to a report by the Ohio River Valley Institute, approximately 9,000 homes in eastern Kentucky were damaged in last year's severe flooding. Rebuilding costs are estimated to be between $450 million and $950 million.
Smith pointed out that, unlike most housing programs, Rural Housing Trust Fund money can serve homeowners who earn up to 120% of a region's medium income.
"It is really a middle-income [program and] we can serve low-income folks," Smith emphasized. "We can also serve folks who earn slightly higher incomes, or maybe it's two earners in the family. And that's really important, because disasters do not care how much money you make."
According to the Ohio Valley Institute report, six in 10 families with flood-damaged have incomes of $30,000 a year or less.
Smith added long-term local and state funding is critical for a successful recovery and rebuilding.
"We've gotten this crash course in how this works, what the federal role is," Smith outlined. "What constitutes the kind of emergency response phase versus the longer term recovery and rebuilding phase. "
FEMA said the federal government has provided $159 million in assistance to eastern Kentuckians so far.
get more stories like this via email
Small Business Saturday has come and gone and the North Carolina Sustainable Business Council urged people to keep "shopping local" this season…
Gun-safety advocates in New Hampshire are urging Gov. Chris Sununu to back policies proven to reduce gun violence following a series of deadly …
A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…
Minnesota is two years away from enacting its new paid leave law and while the debate over costs has resurfaced, some in the small business community …
A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's collective near-total bargaining ban for most public workers is by some seen as a way to bolster the state's beleagu…
As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai wraps up, Democratic lawmakers and clean-air advocates are calling on the Environmental …
NASA-funded research using satellites to study atmospheric nitrogen will examine how different farming approaches affect greenhouse gas emissions…
The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State …