HUD Works to Improve Rural Southeastern Kentucky
Recently, HUD officials from the Kentucky Field Office participated in three half-day workshops in Southeastern Kentucky aimed at helping local governments, economic and community development departments, councils of government, nonprofits and other organizations interested in community development learn how to obtain funding to redevelop brownfields. The workshop's main emphasis centered around how and where to obtain funding aimed at reutilizing previously used sites that may or may not be contaminated into housing, parks, trails, and job creating businesses.
The discussion allowed federal experts, state experts, and seasoned brownfields reuse consultants to offer suggestions and best practices as they relate to leveraging and layering funding sources. The event originated due to the overwhelming need that exists for expertise in moving worthy projects forward and it was the roundtable discussions that occurred during the workshops that could bring real change in some of Kentucky's rural areas.
"Ideally, a successful program could be emulated and used in other states like West Virginia and Tennessee that have similar issues," said David Railey, Senior Management Analyst in the HUD Kentucky Field Office.
During HUD's presentation, Kentucky Community Planning and Development (CPD) Director Roger Leonard provided examples of how Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds could be used for targeting sustainable housing or community development projects. A recurring issue brought up during the discussions was echoed by the entire group. Specifically, one that addresses the widespread problem that this specific part of the country faces with abandoned mobile homes found widely scattered throughout rural Appalachia.
The idea would be to work towards removal, scrap, and replacement using energy-efficient homes. By framing this strategy as a viable jobs program, more federal dollars may be available, particularly for the recently announced Promise Zone in Southeastern Kentucky.
|Content Archived: August 8, 2016|