A southern State with a rich historical heritage, the Commonwealth of Kentucky must deal with the needs of its urban population as well as respond to the challenges in its rural communities. To address regional variation, the State has divided its 120 counties into 15 Area Development Districts (ADD). ADDs are: Barren River, Big Sandy, Buffalo Trace, Cumberland Valley, Fivco, Gateway, Kentucky River, Lake Cumberland, Lincoln Trail, Pennyrile, and Purchase. Kentucky's four largest cities are in Kentucky/Indiana Planning and Development Agency or KIPDA (Louisville), Bluegrass (Lexington), Greenriver (Owensboro), and Northern Kentucky (Covington).
The Consolidated Plan for the Commonwealth of Kentucky has a budget of $51.7 million. Of this, $35.1 million comes from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $15 million from HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds, and $1.5 million from Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds.
Two important aspects in the development of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Consolidated Plan were citizen participation and consultation with public and private agencies. The Consolidated Plan Council convened by the governor made recommendations on State housing and community development priorities and consulted with agencies and nonprofit organizations.
To ensure maximum citizen participation, the Kentucky Housing Corporation
(KHC), as the lead agency, coordinated with the Department of Local Government
(DLG) to sponsor six public hearings throughout the State. The hearings were
advertised through a mailing to 4,000 individuals and agencies, through
newspaper advertisements, and through the posting of flyers at selected
locations. Two hundred sixty individuals attended the six meetings. A followup
survey mailed to 2,000 individuals received 375 responses.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is primarily known as an agricultural State with a large market for livestock, grains, and other products, including coal. In 1993 most employment came from the service, retail, and manufacturing sectors. Although there are many urban areas throughout the State, the region remains characterized by its rural heritage.
The 1990 State median family income (MFI) was $27,028. Of the total household population, more than one out of four is low-income (defined as earning 50 percent or less of the MFI). Of those considered low-income, nearly 46 percent are African Americans and more than 49 percent are renters.
Whites make up 92 percent of the total households, while African Americans
accounted for almost 7 percent. Other minorities accounted for the remaining 1
percent of the population.
Kentucky has an adequate supply of housing. But a 1994 survey found that 9.4 percent of the State's housing stock was substandard. The majority of these units are occupied by low-income households that cannot afford to make repairs. This creates a tremendous need for extensive rehabilitation and demolition.
Overcrowding is not a problem for the majority of extremely low- (earning under 30 percent of MFI) and low-income households: Only 4.4 percent of households have this problem. Renter households are twice as likely as homeowners to be overcrowded.
Based on the 1990 census, Kentucky has 1.5 million housing units. The total vacancy rate is 8.4 percent. Approximately 70 percent of total households in Kentucky own their homes. Slightly more than half (51 percent) of low-income households are homeowners and 56 percent of moderate-income households are homeowners.
From 1980 to 1990 the median value of owner-occupied housing in the State fell from $42,201 to $39,580. This decline in home prices corresponds to the deteriorating quality of housing.
The cost of housing varies widely throughout the State. Almost twice as many homeowners as renters report severe problems with housing conditions.
The eastern and southeastern portions of Kentucky have the highest percentage of low- income households and housing problems. In 1990 Kentucky had 197,487 extremely low- income households. An extremely low-income is defined as a household income of less than $8,108. There were 367,583 low-income households, which is defined as household income of less than $13,514. The predominant household types in both categories were elderly homeowners or small-family household renters (four or fewer related members).
Almost half of the low- and extremely low-income households rent their homes. In 1990 there were 270,795 rental housing units available for low-income renters, of which 243,805 were occupied and 26,990 were vacant.
The average Kentucky rent of $329 is considered affordable for low-income renters. Nonetheless, 61 percent of low-income renters, primarily smaller families, report a cost burden; that is, they pay more than 30 percent of income on housing costs. Statewide, 107,092 extremely low- and low-income households experience a severe cost burden; that is, they pay more than 50 percent of income for housing costs. Renters accounted for 57 percent of those experiencing severe cost burden.
In 1993 the Kentucky Housing Corporation conducted a comprehensive survey of homeless people in the 15 ADDs. From the responses of some 4,200 homeless individuals from non-metropolitan areas, the following portrait emerged: A woman (62 percent), often the victim of domestic violence (44 percent), approximately 23 years of age, with 2 children under the age of 7. She completed the 12th grade, but possessed little or no work experience. Her primary source of income was Aid to Families with Dependent Children and food stamps. She seldom slept on the streets, but rotated between a vehicle and family and friends.
Most respondents were white, but African Americans (11 percent) and ethnic groups were over-represented. The majority (54 percent) were seeking services from the same county where they had become homeless. Forty-one percent of the homeless were children, almost all of whom lived with homeless families. Of the total respondents, 20 percent were alcoholics or drug abusers and 25 percent reported mental illness.
The number of facilities and services to meet the needs for emergency shelter and transitional housing of homeless persons vary throughout the State. For example, there are 18 shelters in Kentucky River, the area with the largest number of reported homeless (626). There are 10 shelters in Northern Kentucky, where there were 107 respondents. One shelter exists in Pennyrile, where there were 317 reported homeless, and there are no shelters in Lincoln Trail, where 268 homeless persons were reported.
A highly developed service system with emergency shelters, transitional housing, cooperative permanent housing opportunities, a mental health hospital, and a coalition of provider groups to monitor a regional shelter system is run by the Kentucky-Indiana Planning and Development Authority. With the exception of Covington, Lexington/Fayette County and Louisville/Jefferson County, local communities would be unable to unilaterally support the range of homeless services.
The Kentucky Public Housing Authorities have played a major role in the development and maintenance of subsidized housing. PHA-owned properties in the State account for a large number of the subsidized units. Throughout Kentucky, there are 85,065 assisted housing units, of which 16,103 are one-bedroom units for the elderly. These units include Section 8, Section 236, Section 202/811, and public housing vouchers and Moderate Rehabilitation units. Households with a Federal preference wait up to a year to receive Section 8 housing.
The Consolidated Plan for the Commonwealth of Kentucky identified the following barriers to affordable housing:
The State has found major impediments to fair housing in the rental market for minorities and families with children since it began statewide discrimination tests in 1977. A study conducted between January 1, 1992 and August 31, 1993, found that familial status accounted for 39 percent and race accounted for 70 percent of alleged violations.
To reduce the levels of different treatment and alleged violations within the Kentucky rental market, the Commonwealth has instituted:
The Kentucky Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) estimates that 875,000 homes contain lead-based paint and 17 percent of these have young children at risk. Lead paint is a problem for the State's children, particularly those who live in substandard, older housing. In Lexington, 137 of 180 houses tested positive for lead paint and between 9 to 10 percent of the children screened had elevated blood-lead levels. One percent of those cases was considered lead poisoning. The program has screened children under the age of 6 in all of Kentucky's 120 counties.
The CLPPP conducts assessments of the homes of children with lead poisoning and with elevated blood-lead levels. Three comprehensive sites -- Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky -- conduct additional assessments using a visual scoring document to evaluate the condition of the house. CLPPP also provides a variety of other lead-paint prevention activities.
Many of Kentucky's elderly residents live in rural areas. They have low incomes and poor health, but a strong desire to remain independent. They often own their homes and want to stay in them, even if the housing is substandard and they cannot afford to keep them up. This population does not rely on family for help and there is a lack of awareness of existing social services. One in six of the State's elderly population is considered to be "frail elderly," which is defined as a person aged 64 or older with a mobility and or a self- care limitation.
Approximately 28,000 persons in Kentucky suffer from severe mental illness. Those with severe psychiatric disorders are at risk of losing housing because they often cannot live independently. Persons with severe mental illness need housing that is affordable, fosters self-esteem, offers community integration, and is located close to social service agencies.
About 90,000 residents have a developmental disorder or are mentally retarded. While their ability to care for themselves is limited, supportive housing, assistive technology, and adaptive devices can keep them out of an institutional setting. Over 300,000 residents of Kentucky have physical disabilities.
For persons with HIV/AIDS, few housing options exist, especially in rural areas. Most of those with HIV/AIDS are white males under age 40, although the number of women, children, and minorities who contract the virus is growing. High medical expenses and an inability to work often leaves the person financially strapped.
A Needs Assessment Survey conducted in the 15 ADDs found that Kentucky's community development needs included:
The Consolidated Plan for the Commonwealth of Kentucky identified the following housing priorities:
Kentucky's nonhousing priorities were grouped into the following program areas:
Kentucky's multifaceted antipoverty strategy addresses the holistic needs of those who live in poverty. By emphasizing economic self-sufficiency, the State has focused its efforts and financial resources on the assistance of private industry to provide employment opportunities and decent wages for its citizens.
Kentucky's strategy includes the creation of an integrated support system and network of State, regional and local providers to offer a specialized array of services linked to affordable housing. This strategy strengthens and expands the locally based delivery system and makes use of the resources available to make housing more affordable. Once housing has been provided, additional human services can be accessed to assist the household in becoming self-sufficient.
Kentucky addresses affordable housing through State and Federal housing programs that will benefit the extremely low-, low- and moderate-income citizens of the Commonwealth. The primary funding sources within the State are programs administered through the Kentucky Housing Corporation and the Department of Local Government. Housing providers also uses funds available through the Cabinet of Human Resources, primarily for support services. A Federal source of funding is the Rural Economic and Community Development.
As public institutions, the ADDs also play an important role in affordable housing production. Many ADDs have developed nonprofit housing corporations or have staff devoted to housing initiatives. These agencies play the role of grant/loan packager, consultant, developer, and program administrator using State or Federal funds.
Contributions made by nonprofit organizations are accessed through the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky (HHCK), which represents 400 nonprofit organizations and individuals. The Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, Inc. is an additional regional coalition of 21 nonprofit housing organizations that has played an active role in providing technical assistance in construction and housing program development in the State's Appalachian counties.
To address funding gaps, the State created the Kentucky Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 1991. The Trust Fund is a separate, revolving, nonlapsing fund administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation. The $1 million in funds can be used to match Federal housing programs for acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction.
The Consolidated Plan is coordinated through its two lead agencies:
No projects are listed.
The Consolidated Plan for Kentucky seeks to assist 7,200 extremely low- and low-income and 3,600 moderate-income renter families and 3,600 low- and moderate-income homeowners by fiscal year 1999.