HUD sending $123 million to help state rebuild from natural disasters

Published 1:56 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

BY TOM LATEK

Kentucky Today

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday during a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda that more federal funding is coming to Kentucky for those who suffered losses in natural disasters that struck the state in 2021.

This includes the areas in western Kentucky struck by the December tornado outbreak, as well as flooding earlier in the year in the east.

“In the wake of these tragedies,” Beshear said, “the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says $123 million will be coming to Kentucky from the federal government to help us rebuild from those two disasters.  Under the terms of the program, 80% will go to four counties impacted the most by those two 2021 weather events, Graves, Warren, Hopkins, and Breathitt counties.”

The remaining 20% will be awarded to around three dozen other counties, who also suffered damage from the 2021 natural disasters.

“Beginning May 1, we will begin accepting applications for our disaster recovery programs from cities, counties,  non-profits, for-profits, other governmental entities in these counties for building back homes, rental properties, including new multi-family rental properties,” he stated.  “These groups will begin conducting public outreach, to make sure they are meeting housing and infrastructure needs in their impacted communities.”

Mayfield Mayor Kathy O’Nan noted, “Except for the loss of lives, which can never be regained, housing was our biggest loss.  They can be rebuilt, but it takes a long time and a lot of funding.  With these applications being taken so soon, it is so exciting.”

Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield pointed out, “This funding is going to take care of and help those so much who may not otherwise be able to afford a new house.  This will also help rebuild the economy of Kentucky.”

Jackson Mayor Laura Thompson told those on hand, “This is funding that is desperately needed.  We have a great need for housing still.  Of course, we need the infrastructure to support that housing, so these funds will be utilized wisely.”

Beshear also thanked U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell for his work on the federal level to help secure the money.  “Disaster recovery is not partisan, and never should be partisan.  It should be about our people and how we move forward.”

He added, “In a couple weeks, we are going to make an announcement on the application for the 2022 floods in eastern Kentucky.  Earlier this year, HUD announced that nearly $300 million will be made available.”