Legislature approves $20 million for housing in disaster zones

BY: - March 17, 2023

FRANKFORT — Although it was much less than they had hoped, affordable-housing advocates in Kentucky are applauding the legislature’s decision to put $20 million into a new Rural Housing Trust Fund. The money is not a new appropriation but comes from more than $400 million the legislature had set aside last year for disaster relief […]

Bill clears committee that would establish regulations for current, future donations raised by state

BY: - February 28, 2023

FRANKFORT — A House committee on Tuesday approved a Republican-backed bill that would charge the state officials overseeing millions in disaster donations with setting out regulations for how the donated funding can be applied for and used. House Bill 257, sponsored by Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, would take the millions of dollars donated to the state’s […]

Kentucky Senate approves bill to get report on donated disaster relief funds

BY: - February 22, 2023

FRANKFORT — The Senate passed a piece of legislation from a Western Kentucky lawmaker that seeks answers to how donated disaster relief funds have been spent so far.  A committee substitute version of Senate Bill 99 passed 33-2 Wednesday. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Fruit Hill, said on the floor that he filed the bill after a […]

Housing advocates encouraged that Senate leader Stivers has filed possible funding vehicle

BY: - February 21, 2023

FRANKFORT — As advocates rallied at the Capitol to support affordable housing, especially for Kentuckians displaced by flooding, Senate President Robert Stivers said discussions are underway that could lead to housing legislation during this session.  Stivers, R-Manchester, filed what he called a “shell bill” that can be used as a vehicle for funding construction where housing […]

KFTC seeks investigation of surface mining’s role in deadly Kentucky floods

BY: - February 13, 2023

A Kentucky advocacy group is calling on the federal government to launch an investigation into whether a legacy of surface coal mining in Eastern Kentucky exacerbated the catastrophic, deadly flooding the region faced last July. Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), a progressive, grassroots organization known for lobbying on environmental issues, made public Monday a letter […]

GOP lawmakers seeking oversight of disaster donations, while Beshear defends funds’ transparency

BY: - February 10, 2023

Republican lawmakers want more oversight of disaster relief funds following a report that checks from donations had been sent to people unaffected by the December 2021 tornado outbreak. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported earlier this month thousands of dollars worth of $1,000 relief checks, provided through the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, were sent in […]

Millions in donations were sent for tornado relief. Survivors wonder where the money is.

BY: - February 4, 2023

MAYFIELD — Doug Irby, owner of a mold removal and home foundation repair company, sees daily reminders that Kentuckians still need help to recover from the tornadoes of December 2021. Yet most of the donations that Kentucky has set aside to help victims pay for unmet needs remain untapped, leaving survivors wondering if that help […]

Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to help build eight new homes, help cover some home repairs

BY: - January 24, 2023

The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund committed $600,000 in funds to build eight new homes in partnership with two housing nonprofits, the Housing Development Alliance in Hazard and Homes Inc. of Whitesburg, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office announced Tuesday. The fund is providing $75,000 per home for building materials. “While we are at the beginning […]

Second ‘higher ground’ site for rebuilding flooded Eastern Kentucky communities is near Hazard

BY: - January 24, 2023

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced a second site on higher ground in flood-ravaged Eastern Kentucky —  this time near Hazard — where plans call for initially building about 150 houses.  The project would be partially funded by the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund in partnership with local nonprofit builders, says a release from […]

Their family home is flood-prone. Flood insurance is too expensive.

BY: - January 12, 2023

JACKSON — Last time she checked, flood insurance would cost Carolyn Combs and husband Lou about $1,100 per month. That was before the 2021 and 2022 floods swept through her family’s home in Jackson, destroying everything inside. “I couldn’t imagine what it is now,” Combs told the Kentucky Lantern in mid-December. “But I already work […]

Months after flooding, many still lack basic household supplies, building materials

BY: - January 12, 2023

JACKSON —About five months after deadly flooding and heavy rains displaced thousands of Eastern Kentuckians and killed at least 44, many still need help to replace basic household supplies.  The plea from many in Breathitt County going into hard winter is, they told the Kentucky Lantern: Don’t forget about us. And: there are still many […]

Months after Eastern Kentucky floods, survivors weigh the future

BY: - January 11, 2023

JACKSON — When the 2021 Eastern Kentucky floods came, Nancy Herald’s basement filled to the rafters.  She lost roughly 50 years of cherished Christmas decorations stored along the concrete wall, along with the washer, dryer and refrigerator.  Because of that experience, the family thought they’d be ready when the 2022 floods came more than a […]