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Kentucky Housing Honors Achievements in Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:  Charla Jackson Peter

October 9, 2013

(502) 564-7630, ext. 454

Kentucky Housing Honors Achievements in Affordable Housing

Awards honoring excellence in affordable housing were presented at the 2013 Kentucky Affordable Housing Conference in Lexington, which was held October 9-10. 

Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), the conference host and state housing finance agency, sponsored the awards to honor builders, nonprofit organizations, and others who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s affordable housing industry in the last year. 

“Without all our partners, we at Kentucky Housing Corporation could not achieve so much for the people of Kentucky,” said KHC’s Chief Executive Officer Richard L. McQuady.  “So many Kentuckians are in need of help, and all of us at KHC are proud to be part of the solution to strengthen communities and housing options in Kentucky.”

On Wednesday, October 9, the Dorothy J. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mary Shearer.  This award is presented to an individual who has devoted much of their career to helping make the dream of affordable housing a reality in Kentucky.  In less than ten years, Mary built an agency to lead a network of Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the state, as the executive director of Kentucky Habitat for Humanity.  Before working with Habitat for Humanity, Mary received her Masters degree in vocal performance, allowing her to travel and perform all over the world.  When she was not performing onstage, the Louisville native organized and performed at art festivals.  Since then, Mary has used her creativity to grow Kentucky Habitat for Humanity, supporting 51 affiliates in 57 counties.  During her tenure, the U.S. Department of the Treasury granted KY Habitat for Humanity certification as a community development financial institution, which provides increased access to community development funding.  Only two Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the nation have this certification!  Three other projects, the Prison Partnership Program, the Veterans Initiative, and the Containers Project, all show just how Mary has broken out of the normal thought process of what Habitat can accomplish.

Wilma Langfels of Thoroughbred Lending (previously of PrimeLending) received the 2013 Homeownership Award.  Wilma has assisted Kentuckians to navigate the mortgage buying process for over 40 years, providing the best solutions for her clients by embracing change and new products.  She is a member of the Mortgage Bankers of the Bluegrass Board, co-chair of the Education Committee, and an affiliate member of the Bluegrass Association of Realtors.

The 2013 Nonprofit Organization Award was presented to Partnership Housing, Inc., for outstanding service and contributions in building and rehabilitating affordable housing for Kentuckians.  From minor repairs, to tear down and rebuild, to new construction in rural Kentucky, Partnership Housing, Inc., is building a better community by forming partnerships with local and state agencies.

Receiving the 2013 Nonprofit Affordable Housing Builder Award was Morehead Area Habitat for Humanity, for their leadership as a rural Habitat affiliate, consistently building three to four homes annually while serving low-income Kentuckians, who earn 60 percent or below Area Median Income, in Rowan County.  Previously, Morehead Area Habitat for Humanity built two to three homes per year.  However, after the tornado of March 2012 devastated West Liberty, they built 18 homes in 14 months!  To date, Morehead Area Habitat for Humanity has provided 45 families with a simple, decent, and affordable home.  For many of these families, Habitat for Humanity was their only choice and their only hope.

The 2013 Energy Efficiency Leadership Award was presented to Daniel Boone Community Action Agency for their commitment to improve energy efficiency in the homes of Kentucky families.  Combining the Department of Energy’s Weatherization funds with the Cabinet for Health and Families Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds, Daniel Boone Community Action Agency assisted over 460 households with weatherization services in the past four years, and reduced the cost of energy for literally hundreds of low-income families with children, elderly, and disabled households in four of the hardest to serve counties in Kentucky. 

AU Associates received the 2013 For-Profit Affordable Housing Builder Award.  AU Associates was founded in 1990, and has been on the forefront of preserving some of Kentucky’s most historic vacant school buildings, while providing mixed-income and affordable housing for low-income seniors and families.  Through its preservation, adaptive reuse, and new construction efforts, AU Associates created over 450 units of affordable rental housing totaling over $75 million in both rural and urban infill settings.  AU Associates continues this legacy with the Jenkins High school project in Jenkins County, which will create 26 units, as well as the Jackson Post/Federal Place Apartments, will create 14 units.  Please note, the Jackson Post/Federal Place Apartments will have an opening ceremony on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, and the press and public are invited to attend. 

Heidi Suhrheinrich, executive director of the Paducah Cooperative Ministry, was awarded the 2013 Homeless Leadership Award for providing steadfast leadership in implementing and coordinating strategies and solutions to end homelessness in Kentucky.  Heidi has been the executive director of Paducah Cooperative Ministry for more than 15 years, and has worked very closely with local churches and the community to build the local homeless services program.  Heidi has fostered a collaborative spirit, which has helped her organization become a strong part of the community, gaining tremendous support from faith-based organizations, other nonprofits, government partners, and individual citizens.

The Mae Street Kidd Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding public service and made great strides in promoting affordable housing for Kentuckians.  Tim Barry has been the executive director of Louisville Metro Housing Authority since the metro merger in 2003, and prior to that the executive director of the Housing Authority of Louisville since 1999.  Louisville Metro Housing Authority is responsible for the development and management of federally-assisted housing in the Louisville Metro.  The mission of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority is to provide quality, affordable housing for those in need, assist residents in their efforts to achieve financial independence, and work with the community to strengthen neighborhoods.

Also recognized was Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing for its contributions as the sponsorship coordinator for the conference.


 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 familial or veteran status.