by Mindy Miller, Director of Development & Communications
A destructive windstorm recently ripped through Eastern Kentucky, leaving damaged homes and reeling residents in its wake.
With people being asked to stay “healthy at home,” some mountain families are finding that difficult, especially when their homes are in significant need of repairs.
“I had a tree go through my house,” a homeowner wrote to the Housing Development Alliance (HDA) on Facebook. “It took out my kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. I’m trying to repair what I can, but (my employer) cut me down to 20 hours a week due to COVID-19.”
In order to assist those needing repairs, especially at a time when many of them can’t afford them, HDA is currently offering no-cost emergency home repairs to families that qualify for the service.
The repairs are made possible by a funder amending an existing grant to allow HDA to provide emergency repairs during this crisis.
“We’ll be using the funding to make storm-related repairs for damaged roofs, siding, windows, and electrical services,” said HDA Executive Director Scott McReynolds. “We can also make structural repairs due to fallen trees or blowing debris.”
Due to the pandemic and social distancing regulations, McReynolds noted that the agency will focus on making only exterior repairs now but will also do patchwork for interior damage, with the intention of completing those interior repairs once it is deemed safe for crews to do so.
McReynolds added that this grant can help homeowners with or without insurance. “Sometimes even with insurance, a family can’t afford the deductible or other non-covered repair costs,” he said.
Shots of the some of the damage sustained by homeowners in our area.
The emergency home repairs are provided as a grant to the homeowner, who is not required to repay it. However, the homeowner must sign an agreement, which states that if he or she decides to sell the home within five years of receiving the grant, they will have to repay a portion of it.
Funds are available to homeowners in the four counties served by HDA: Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry. Individuals and families applying for the repairs must meet income requirements and must own and live in the home for which they are requesting emergency storm-related repairs. Funding is limited and additional requirements apply.
If a home needs other repairs unrelated to the storm, HDA will check to see if the home qualifies for the agency’s normal Home Repair Program.
“We’re eager to provide this assistance to those who have been impacted by the storm in our local communities,” McReynolds said. “We want to help as many families as possible, and this funding will allow us to do that more quickly.”
Homeowners in need of emergency repairs can apply online here. Those interested may also call HDA at 606-436-0497, or email HDA Repair Program Manager Max Temple with the subject title “House Damaged by Storm” and include your name, phone number, and home location in the message.