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KHC Honors Achievements in Housing Innovation

FRANKFORT, Ky.—Awards honoring excellence and innovation in affordabl​e housing were presented at the 2015 Kentucky Affordable Housing Conference in Lexington, which was held April 8-9. 

Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), the conference host and state housing finance agency, sponsored the awards to honor innovative techniques and strategies used by our partners to meet the needs of Kentuckians.

“Kentucky Housing Corporation and our partners are committed to helping others achieve affordable housing,” said KHC’s Executive Director Kathryn Peters. “Innovative housing initiatives have lasting impacts for many Kentuckians who are in need of quality housing, and we are proud to recognize these programs.”

On Wednesday, April 8, the Dorothy J. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sheila Etchen. 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. Etchen began her career when she opened the city of Louisville’s first Relocation Assistance Department and then went on to develop the first Section 8 program in the state, all before 1980. She then used her passion and skills to implement KHC programs in urban areas, while educating housing consumers and nonprofit housing professionals. Etchen represented KHC on multiple Boards throughout the 1990s, including Housing Partnership Inc., Metropolitan Housing Coalition, the Coalition for the Homeless, and Virginia Place Single Parent Facility. She also designed and implemented KHC’s highly successful “Yes You Can Own A Home” program that helped so many Kentuckians become homeowners. Etchen was instrumental in the creation of the Housing Policy Advisory Committee and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, both of which in recent years she has chaired, and she is currently the community reinvestment officer for Republic Bank.

On Thursday, April 9, the Mae Street Kidd Award was presented to First Lady Jane Beshear, recognizing her outstanding public service. The award is named after the Louisville state representative who sponsored the legislation creating Kentucky Housing Corporation in 1972. Beshear has been devoted to serving others throughout the Commonwealth since the 1980s. In 2009, Beshear launched the Governor’s Garden effort to increase awareness about the benefits of locally-grown produce and the importance of reducing our carbon footprint. She also succeeded in reducing energy consumption at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion by 15 percent. The first lady has worked tirelessly on behalf of domestic violence shelters and for improved health care opportunities for under-insured and uninsured Kentuckians. Beshear serves on the Recovery Kentucky Task Force, which provides housing and treatment assistance to men and women who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. She has been a steadfast supporter of the Scholar House Program, which offers affordable housing, education, and child care to single-parents trying to improve their economic future. Beshear has received numerous awards reflecting her active pursuit of leading by example and her commitment to helping Kentucky families.

Arthur Crosby and the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission were also recognized for their contributions to fair housing in the state.

At Thursday’s luncheon, agencies that have shown innovation in housing solutions were recognized. The goal of the KHC Innovative Solutions Annual Housing Awards is to:  recognize outstanding efforts, identify best practices, and encourage replication of workable housing solutions.

Community Ventures Corporation (CVC) received the Innovative Solutions:  Affordable Housing Award. CVC created an online home buyer education curriculum, called eHome America. This education curriculum offers multiple modules to accommodate a variety of adult learning styles.

The Innovative Solutions:  Energy Efficiency—Multifamily Award was presented to the Housing Partnership Inc., which took a vacant historic structure, and brought it back to productive use while respecting the environment, incorporating proven green building techniques and energy efficiency strategies. The Most Blessed Sacrament Senior Apartments when fully occupied also includes a staffed Community Resource Center.

Receiving the Innovative Solutions:  Energy Efficiency—Residential Award was Partnership Housing Inc., which provided innovative strategies to improve energy efficiency in Kentucky homes. After a great deal of research and learning, Partnership Housing began incorporating new energy-efficient techniques into each new project. 

The Innovative Solutions:  Homelessness Award was presented to GreenHouse 17 for their commitment to create a safe environment for abuse victims. GreenHouse 17 uses a farm program, called Value-Added Farming, to provide innovative and trauma-informed solutions for the challenges victims face. Running a farm can help develop job skills in a safe and supportive environment. Residents are able to produce and market products, which provide small-business training, while generating resources for the organization.

Wallick-Hendy Development Company LLC received the Innovative Solutions:  Housing Preservation Award. In 1996, a high school in Maysville, Kentucky, was converted into affordable rental housing. After many years of use, the property was no longer sustainable due to multiple issues and lack of funding. With the joint effort of old and new partners, and great community support, the Landings at Maysville High School regained its historic nature.

 

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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 based on race; color; religion; sex; national origin; sexual orientation; gender identity; ancestry; age; disability; or marital, familial, or veteran status.​