Hopkinsville is the county seat of Christian County in the southwestern part of Kentucky. With a land area of 726 square miles, Christian County is the second largest county in the State. Its southern border is the Tennessee State line and the U.S. Army's Fort Campbell. The military post has a significant impact on the housing market and local economy. Many military personnel remain in the area after retirement. Other county borders include Land Between the Lakes, a top-rated retirement area, and the western Kentucky coal fields in the north. Nashville, Tennessee, is 70 miles southeast of Hopkinsville, and the closest large Kentucky city is Bowling Green, 63 miles to the east.
Housing needs predominate in the planned use of $528,000 in a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The city's 1995 program year begins on July 1, 1995.
Hopkinsville designated the Hopkinsville-Christian County Planning Commission's Office of Community Development as the lead agency for preparing this Consolidated Plan. Intra- governmental cooperation involved the city's Housing Authority, Building Inspector, and Departments of Finance, Human Relations, Health, and Public Works.
Residents of Hopkinsville public housing had an active role in preparing the plan's needs assessment. Citizen participation also included social service agency representatives, area business people, homeless and affordable housing advocates, health professionals, nonprofit service providers, and individuals. The most effective method used to collect this community response was telephone interviews. Although a public hearing notice was published in the Kentucky New Era and special notices were sent to social service agencies, only two persons attended the March 16, 1995, public hearing.
On April 14, 1995, the summary of the Consolidated Plan was published in the
Kentucky New Era, commencing a 30-day public comment period. The plan was
approved on June 22, 1995.
According to the 1990 census the population of Hopkinsville was 29,809, representing a 10-percent increase from 1980. During the 1980s, Hopkinsville grew through the annexation of areas on the west and south sides of the city. During the same period, the population composition relative to age changed substantially; the 35- to 44-year-old age group increased by more than 35 percent, and the number of persons more than 75 years old grew by almost 40 percent. While the white population grew by 3 percent in the 1980s, the African-American population increased by 26 percent.
The number of households grew to 11,406. More than 20 percent of households in the city have incomes below the poverty level. Almost 50 percent of African-American households live in poverty, compared to 19 percent of white households. Four census tracts are areas of racial and/or ethnic minority concentration. Five tracts are areas of low- to moderate-income concentration; four of those are also areas of racial and/or ethnic minority concentration. However, the single census tract that qualifies as an area of low-income concentration does not have a high minority concentration.
Hopkinsville's economy has diversified dramatically since the 1970s. Instead
of its former reliance on agriculture, employment now is largely in
manufacturing, followed by wholesale/retail trade, and professional and related
As in many urban areas, Hopkinsville's recent growth has been in the suburbs. The downtown area has suffered from the closing or relocation of many businesses and an increase in crime. This trend has left vacant structures that attract drug trafficking and loitering, making inner-city neighborhoods less desirable places to live.
The supply of housing in Hopkinsville includes 12,236 housing units, of which 93 percent are occupied and 7 percent are vacant. Of the 11,402 occupied housing units, 57 percent are owner occupied and 43 percent are renter occupied.
It is estimated that 11 percent of the city's housing stock was built before 1940. Housing construction peaked in the 1960s and remained high during the 1970s. Nearly half of the city's housing was built in those two decades. Now more than 60 percent of the city's housing stock is more than 30 years old, making the condition of the housing a problem. Although approximately 15 to 20 percent of the city's 12,236 housing units are substandard, 80 percent of these are suitable for rehabilitation.
The median value of housing in Hopkinsville is $43,500, up from $32,400 in 1980. Forty-six percent of housing units are valued between $25,000 and $50,000. The average value of units owned by white owner occupants is $55,462, compared to $28,665 for African-American owner occupants. The average price of vacant and for-sale units is $60,240.
The median rent is $227, up 66 percent from 1980. Several realtors have reported that many renters wish to become homeowners, but they either have no money for a downpayment, have credit problems that prevent them from obtaining a loan, or both. In some cases, renters can afford monthly mortgage payments and utilities but must look to relatives for money to cover downpayments and closing costs. Without this assistance, they remain renters.
Of the 834 vacant units in Hopkinsville, about 40 percent are rental units and 45 percent are other vacant units that are awaiting occupancy. More than 40 percent of rental units are efficiencies and one-bedroom units, while 26 percent have three or more bedrooms. Of those for sale, only 2 percent are efficiencies and one-bedroom units. As many as 80 percent have three or more bedrooms.
The rental vacancy rate has declined steadily to 6.4 percent. However, vacancy rates do not give a clear picture of the area's housing situation because troop migrations at nearby Fort Campbell can cause them to fluctuate extremely.
One-fourth of all households in Hopkinsville have housing problems, usually cost burdens in excess of 30 percent of household income. Nine percent of all households have severe cost burdens, paying more than 50 percent of their gross income for housing expenses.
Two-thirds of renters and 59 percent of owners at the extremely low-income level (0-30 percent of MFI) experience excess housing cost burden. Rates of housing cost burden drop to 60 percent of renters and 35 percent of owners among households at the low-income level (31-50 percent of MFI). Among moderate-income households (51-80 percent of MFI), 44 percent of renters and 29 percent of owners have excess housing cost burdens.
Overcrowding is a problem for almost half of low- and moderate-income large families who are renters. About 14 percent of low-income non-elderly homeowners are also overcrowded.
Viewed by household type, almost half of low- and extremely low-income elderly renter households have housing problems. Close to three-fourths of large and small low-income renter households have housing problems. Rates of housing problems are almost as high for minority renters of each type as for all households.
The rates of housing problems are almost as high for elderly and small-family low-income owners as for renters, but almost 90 percent of low-income large-family owners have housing cost problems.
There is great concern over the condition of Hopkinsville's housing stock. About 30 percent of rental units and 10 percent of owner-occupied units are substandard. Many residents of older housing have low incomes, and much of this category of housing is in need of major rehabilitation. The city plans to continue the rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing through the CDBG and the Kentucky HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME). These programs have been targeted in extremely low-income minority areas, where the city also has undertaken demolition of vacant, dilapidated housing. These areas have housing, crime, and other inner-city problems.
The 1990 census found no homeless in Hopkinsville. However, a 1993 survey by the Kentucky Housing Corporation and the Pennyrile Area Development District found 72 homeless persons. Emergency shelters served 66, and 6 lived without shelter.
In 1987 a group of residents concerned about the welfare of homeless people formed Hopkinsville Homeless, Inc., Through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant, the organization funds groups that provide emergency and temporary shelter. A major provider is the Salvation Army, which operates a soup kitchen and an emergency shelter that houses an average of 24 people a day. The Salvation Army serves senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, runaways or homeless youth, people with alcohol or drug problems, and persons with controllable mental health problems. Their services include job counseling, life skills training, laundry, clothing donations, mail drop, and Alcoholics Anonymous programs.
Additional homeless service providers have since formed, including New Covenant of Grace Ministries, which operates a privately funded homeless shelter, and Sanctuary House, which serves victims of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault.
The Housing Authority of Hopkinsville operates 459 public housing units in 8 communities and scattered sites. White households occupy 29 percent and African Americans occupy 68 percent of those units. More than half of the public housing consist of one- and two-bedroom units, and almost one-fourth are three-bedroom units. Four- and five-bedroom units compose less than 10 percent of the inventory. In addition, privately owned Section 8 assisted units serve 375 families and 27 elderly households.
The housing agency accepts applications weekly for public housing and Section 8 rental assistance. There are 260 extremely low-income and 450 low-income applicants on the waiting list. Public housing and Section 8 rental assistance each have two waiting lists, a preference list and a regular list. Current preferences are for applicants that are paying more than 50 percent of income for rent and utilities, those involuntarily displaced (through no fault of their own), and those living in substandard housing. Public housing has a preference waiting list of 132 applicants and a regular list of 450 applicants. Section 8 has a preference waiting list of 266 applicants and a regular list of 518 applicants.
Hopkinsville has no policies that are excessive, exclusionary, discriminatory, or duplicating that may constitute barriers to affordability. Permit fees are reasonable and issued without delay. The city does not have a one- and two-family building code, which may result in less expensive housing, but the quality of housing suffers because many rental units are not maintained.
Approximately 85 percent of Hopkinsville's housing stock is at risk for lead-based paint hazard because it was built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978. It is estimated that 5,483 units occupied by low-income households contain lead-based paint.
The Housing Authority of Hopkinsville has found lead-based paint hazards in Pennyrile Homes, Moore Court, and Eastside Terrace. Lead is concentrated around windows and doors. Through the Comprehensive Grant Program, the housing agency plans to abate and encapsulate these lead areas by July 1996.
Children are tested for lead poisoning by Christian County Health Department. Between June 1993 and July 1994, eight children were found to have harmful blood-lead levels.
Hopkinsville residents with special needs for supportive housing include the elderly, frail elderly, severely mentally ill, developmentally disabled, physically disabled, alcohol and drug addicted, and persons with HIV/AIDS. Approximately 1,274 households with special needs have been identified; 66 percent of them are elderly and frail elderly. Nearly one-fourth of the 1,274 households are physically disabled.
Many of the special needs populations live in group quarters, mostly in nursing homes. More than 500 are in Western State Hospital, which serves patients with mental health and/or alcohol and drug abuse problems. Most also have extremely low incomes. Other facilities that serve low- to moderate-income residents with special needs are Calvin Manor Apartments, Gainsville Manor Personal Care Home, Christian Health Center, Chapel House, Friendship House, Pennyroyal Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board, Christian County Senior Citizens, Inc., and Pennyroyal Hospice, Inc. Collectively these organizations provide housing, mental health services, adult day care, meals, home repair, transportation, recreation, and adult education.
Hopkinsville plans to give immediate priority to improving neighborhood environments and community service facilities. In particular, continuation of the development of the Walnut Street Center is needed. Located in the Durrett Avenue School target area, the center provides an environment in which low-income families, children, and adults can learn or participate. For example, an afterschool tutoring program assists students with homework and encourages them to make the best of their education.
Long-term economic development plans include the expansion of Hopkinsville
Industrial Park and the continued active recruitment of new industries and
related business to the Hopkinsville/Christian County area. There also is an
effort to obtain a technology training center at the local community college to
train the labor pool for the technological industries that may relocate to the
In the next 5 years, Hopkinsville is expected to spend more than $8.7 million on affordable housing, rehabilitation needs, and the needs of the growing elderly population. The city aims to:
Hopkinsville gives high priority to addressing needs of all renter and owner households with extremely low to moderate incomes with cost burdens greater than 30 percent.
High priority is given to addressing physical defects in extremely low- and low-income renter- and owner-occupied houses. Moderate-income elderly households living with these problems also receive high priority.
Also of high priority is the need to address overcrowding for extremely low- to moderate-income large-family renter households. Almost half of large households in the extremely low- to moderate-income brackets live in overcrowded conditions.
Nonhousing community development priorities established in the planning process are:
Many eligible individuals and families are not enrolled in poverty-prevention programs. The Salvation Army, St. Luke's Free Clinic, and other social service agencies and local organizations work together to help these individuals and families receive the services and funds entitled to them.
To help reduce poverty, the Hopkinsville housing agency provides Section 8 rental assistance and public housing. The housing agency also sponsors first-time homebuyer classes on loan applications, credit reports, and other topics to encourage tenants of public housing to seek homeownership.
Another antipoverty strategy is to help people become employed, especially at earnings above minimum wage. Hopkinsville Community College is pursuing funding for a technological center to train a skilled labor force, which in turn could attract industries that pay better wages. In addition, the city's Economic Development Council, the Industrial Foundation, and the Southern Kentucky Industrial Development Association have concentrated on industrial recruitment. A new section of Hopkinsville Industrial Park has lots and/or speculative buildings for potential industrial prospects.
The Hopkinsville-Christian County Planning Commission's Office of Community Development works closely with public and private resources to coordinate activities in the plan. These resources include: Hopkinsville Housing Authority, Pennyrile Area Development District, the Housing Authority's Human Relations Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Kentucky Changers, NationsBank, and other local and nonprofit organizations and businesses.
The Planning Commission's Office of Community Development is coordinating plan implementation activities. This year, the city has hired a housing director to coordinate and expand efforts between public and private housing agencies, health agencies, and service agencies.
In 1995 and 1996, Hopkinsville plans to use $528,000 in CDBG funds. Central activities will be housing rehabilitation and public facility improvements. During the first year, funds will be allocated to key programs as follows:
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 depicts Neighborhood Segments and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).