Site set for 150 homes near Hazard outside flood plain

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023


Kentucky Today

In the wake of the deadly flooding in eastern Kentucky six months ago, Gov. Andy Beshear was in Perry County on Tuesday to announce a second location for new homes, outside the flood plain.

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Located five miles from downtown Hazard, the 50-acre building site is close to schools, shopping centers and the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Plans for the first phase of the site include about 150 houses, partially funded by the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund in partnership with local nonprofit builders.

“Rebuilding on high ground is a chance to lift up entire communities with upgraded infrastructure and safe, affordable, energy-efficient homes,” Beshear said. “But our work in Eastern Kentucky is not done until there is prosperity in the entire region.”

Paul Ison, whose family provided land for the project, said, “This land is located near the heart of Hazard and can be a real boost to the community. There’s really no better use for such a great piece of land than to improve housing. Better and more housing attracts better jobs and a better future.”

Additional parcels of land will be developed in later project phases.

Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander called it a great day for the community, adding housing is one of the biggest issues they face.

“Perry County was in a housing crisis prior to the July 2022 flood disaster. Now we are in a catastrophic housing situation. I want to thank Gov. Beshear and his team, as well as the legislators, for such a quick response to working with Perry County to help solve the housing situation.”

The state continues to evaluate multiple sites in four counties: Perry, Knott, Letcher and Breathitt. These counties account for a combined 75% of the homes lost to flood damage.

Last month, the governor announced the first building site near the Talcum community on the Knott/Perry County line. Initial concepts for the Olive Branch community include small, medium and large home lots, senior apartments, park and recreation space and an elementary school. Homes will be partially funded by the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.

Initial planning has begun and will include an improved water treatment facility, roads and utilities for the area which will benefit the entire region. Infrastructure projects have multiple funding streams, including Eastern Kentucky SAFE funds and Federal ARPA funds.