housing

Katie Myers

Jimmy McRoberts knew the North Fork Mobile Home Park was teeming with animals. Some residents, like local grandmother Penny Gozzard, had two or three beloved cats they kept a close eye on; others let their pets roam around and mingle with the neighborhood kids who played around their families’ trailers. So when McRoberts’ entire trailer park was served an eviction notice on March 7, he realized a lot of pets were about to be left behind.

It was a gentle, breezy May evening in the small eastern Kentucky college town of Morehead, Kentucky, when McRoberts told his story outside one of the last trailers in North Fork. By this time, the park was mostly vacated, the high grasses covering left-behind odds and ends, toys and jackets and cigarette packs. Roughly 80 of McRoberts’ neighbors, served with the same eviction notice and a move-out date of April 30, were gone.

 

  

Facebook/PennyrileHabitat

Habitat for Humanity in Kentucky’s Pennyrile Region is adding a new service to its previous focus of building new homes for people who qualify based on income limits and “sweat equity.”

The new service is offering home repairs at no cost to make sure more low-income people in the region have comfortable and safe homes. 

Heath Duncan is executive director of Habitat for Humanity, Pennyrile Region, which covers Christian, Hopkins and Webster Counties. 

Duncan said one goal is to do repairs that allow older adults to “age in place” instead of going to a nursing home. 

“We think the time is right for us to launch a repair program. We get calls weekly, and have for years, about wheelchair ramps and roofs and porch railings and that sort of stuff," said Duncan. "And until now we haven’t been able to help, but we’re looking to change that going forward.”


UnitedWay.org

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress in many parts of life for families in Kentucky and around the nation.

During pandemic, the 211 hotline in the Daviess County region has received thousands of calls from people looking for assistance on a wide range of concerns.

The 211 contact line connects area residents to community resources on issues including housing, utility bills, food, health care, and mental health services. 

In the past year, the 211 line has received more than 16,000 calls. More than 5,000 of those calls were received in the last 90 days. 

Owensboro Community Development Director Abby Shelton said the majority of calls were related to housing and shelter, with most of those related to rental assistance. She said the pandemic has created a national struggle that’s definitely hit hard in Kentucky.


J. Tyler Franklin

Louisville has a high level of inequality between blacks and whites when it comes to homeownership and wealth. According to the 2019 State of Metropolitan Housing report released Wednesday, that’s a result of historical racist policies influencing today’s trends.

The report’s authors found that lower median incomes and home values were common in majority-black neighborhoods. Between 2000 and 2017, such neighborhoods, including the ones of west Louisville, had some of the greatest declines in median home values in the city.

WKU Housing and Residence Life

Western Kentucky University students have an opportunity to learn more about their housing options—both on campus and off—during the school’s first-ever Housing Fair on Tuesday.

Representatives from WKU Housing and Residence Life and Bowling Green apartment complexes will meet with students to discuss issues including local utility rates, negotiating a lease, and the benefits of being close to campus. The fair is sponsored by the College Heights Herald

Andrew Lee, a WKU senior from Owensboro and Advertising Manager at WKU Student Publications, said students face a big decision in whether to stay on campus, or live in one of a growing number of apartment complexes around town.

Michelle Hanks

Rent is not the only factor in making affordable housing truly affordable. There are all sorts of related costs, from monthly bus passes to decent groceries to reliable childcare.

Access Ventures, a Louisville-based nonprofit investment firm, is putting $3 million into finding novel solutions for additional expenses that contribute to housing instability. On Monday, the organization announced the Reconstruct Challenge, a national competition that will award six individuals or groups $300,000 grants to come to the Louisville area and test their idea.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

About one-quarter of Kentucky residents age 50 and older who live in regions around Louisville, Owensboro, Bowling Green and Elizabethtown are burdened by high housing costs that require 30-to-50 percent of their income. That’s according to Housing Americans Older Adults 2018, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

That housing burden is about the same for residents around Evansville, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee.

Lisa Autry

Most of us this time of year take for granted a warm home or hot meal, but sometimes the most basic necessities are out of reach for some.  Winter can be a dangerous time for the homeless, when frostbite can take hold in minutes amid numbing wind chills. 

When cold temperatures become a matter of life and death, homeless shelters fill up quickly, but some area churches in Bowling Green are filling the gap.

Benny Becker

The sound of power tools blends with teenage chatter as students clamber around, under, and over a trailer bed that they’re busy turning into a home. They’re part of a project called “Building It Forward,” which has vocational classes building tiny houses as a way of gaining practical skills and new confidence.

Just a few feet from the garage door at the back of the room, there’s a vertical rock face. It’s all coal from the ground up at least ten feet. Coal here can be a reminder of the past — of the time when this land that the school sits on was blasted flat by miners; of times when coal jobs were plentiful here in eastern Kentucky.