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News/Events

Addressing Kentucky’s Big Housing Issues Community by Community

For Immediate Release  Contact: 
June 7, 2007 Charla Jackson Peter (KHC)
  (502) 564-7630, ext. 454 
  Terri Johnson/Bobbie Bryant (KLC) 
  (859) 977-3700


Addressing Kentucky’s Big Housing Issues
Community by Community

Kentucky League of Cities (KLC)/Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC)
 forge Partnership for Housing Solution
 

“Cities are where most people in Kentucky live, and we are committed to helping more people live in safe, affordable homes,” said Sylvia L. Lovely, executive director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities. 

Proclaimed by the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2002, June is National Homeownership Month.  Five years later, is there a reason to celebrate…or not? 

The good news is that Kentucky ranks above the national average in terms of homeownership (71.7 percent of owner-occupied homes vs. 68.5 percent).   However, a recent Kentucky League of Cities OnPoint study cited U.S. Census data showing that one in four Kentucky households live in a home they cannot afford, meaning their housing costs are more than 30 percent of their household income. 

  • The KLC study also notes that from 2000-2004, the median house value in Kentucky increased by 14 percent while the median income rose by only 5 percent.  
  • An October report on PRnewswire.com listed 2,276 foreclosures in Kentucky for the first quarter of last year.
  • A Kentucky Housing Corporation study shows that nearly 163,000 renters are cost burdened.
  • Early estimates of a recent Kentucky Point-in-Time, a one-day homeless count indicates that – excluding Lexington and Louisville – there are more than 4,300 homeless people in Kentucky.   Victims of domestic violence comprise a large and growing percentage of the homeless population.  However, based on an annualized statistic in 2006, approximately 19,141 persons experience homelessness each year in Kentucky. 

Solutions for Kentucky Communities
There are a number of variables and efforts in play, such as the Kentucky Affordable Housing Trust Fund which only recently received a permanent source of funding by the 2006 Kentucky General Assembly, and the recent increase in minimum wage that can address some aspects of critical housing challenges.  Nevertheless, the consequences of unaffordable housing impact communities - from social issues to economic stability. 

The Kentucky League of Cities and Kentucky Housing Corporation have formed a contractual partnership to work with local leaders on key housing issues.   The arrangement creates a KLC liaison to work with mayors and local leaders. 

“We are partnering in response to several kinds of needs that all come back to housing,” said Lovely.  “KLC can help drive solutions around housing/homelessness issues by bridging state and local resources.” 

“Kentucky Housing recognizes that each community is unique and has individual needs,” said Ben A. Cook, KHC CEO.  “They know their own strengths, as with the availability of needed services, and their weaknesses regarding available resources, such as historic and housing tax credits.  We look forward to working with the Kentucky League of Cities in helping establish and nurture stronger collaboration.” 

The goal of the partnership is to enhance community collaboration efforts by making sure joint housing efforts are addressed by “city hall.”   KLC serves as a liaison to local leaders on key projects such as the establishment of working groups on predatory lending, affordable housing and homelessness.   KLC is also assisting with tools for cities to use in their communities to build public awareness about the programs. 

The Kentucky Housing Corporation is strategically targeting 12 key cities in which to establish Don’t Borrow Trouble® Kentucky working groups that have local human services, credit counseling and legal aid services available to citizens.   In addition, there are 19 targeted cities for homelessness working groups. 

Results of the KLC/KHC relationship are already apparent as there are functioning working groups in Ashland, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead and Radcliff with Covington launching in June. 

A recent working group meeting for Elizabethtown/Radcliff was well publicized.  As a result, one resident showed up to tell her story of how predatory lending had led to foreclosure and ultimately to her family’s relocation. 

“We all know someone who’s experienced a housing challenge,” said Lovely.   “It’s a very human issue.  Our partnership with KHC and local leaders is one step toward finding solutions.”

For more information about Kentucky Housing Corporation’s programs, call toll-free in Kentucky 800-633-8896 or 502-564-7630; TTY 711: or visit www.kyhousing.org

For more information on the Kentucky League of Cities and our Policy Development and Resources Services for media, contact KLC at 800-876-4552 or 859-977-3700 or visit www.klc.org.

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www.kyhousing.org

Kentucky Housing Corporation, the state housing finance agency, was created by the 1972 General Assembly to provide affordable housing opportunities.  As a self-supporting, public corporation, Kentucky Housing offers lower-than-market rate home mortgages, housing production financing, homeownership education/counseling, rental assistance, housing rehabilitation and supportive housing programs for special needs populations.

Kentucky Housing Corporation prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, disability or veteran status.