Officials hold forum to discuss housing flood victims in Pike County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email


Pike County officials say there is a housing shortage after the recent flooding

Officials say they need to find places to live for hundreds of people.

A forum was held at the Expo Center in Pikeville Friday to look for solutions.

Local officials say there has been a housing problem in Pike County for years, but the recent flooding has made it worse.

Now they need to find homes for hundreds of people and soon.

Two floods in 13 months has destroyed hundreds of homes in Pike County.

Neva Weddington, one of the victims, says she and all of her neighbors cannot live in their homes again.

"No, I'm not gonna live there no more. I'm gonna get me another place." Says Weddington.

For now she is living with family, but needs a place of her own.

Officials say there is not enough housing available in the county for the hundreds who need a home.

"The unfortunate part is being able to identify housing that's out there that's rental property for those individuals to be in a position to rent." Says Carol Napier, the Pike County Social Services Director.

Local leaders and TECO coal officials are discussing using reclaimed mine land to build permanent homes, but that could be years down the road before construction could start.

Officials say funding is also a barrier for flood victims who lost everything.

"There's a maximum amount of money they can receive which is nowhere near the amount of money they need to be able to re-build, so that means you have to partner with these agencies." Says Napier.

Representatives from HUD, the USDA, Kentucky Housing Corporation, and the Department for Local Government pledged to help.

"Whatever resources we have that are available to do that, we're gonna be diligently applying those efforts to best assist the residents here in the community." Says Michael Hale, with the Department for Local Government.

Officials say it could be two years before all the flood victims have a home again.

County officials are talking with Pikeville College officials to renovate the old Days Inn Motel and turn it into temporary housing until permanent solutions are found.

Pike County has created a housing coalition made up of government agencies, non-profit and faith-based groups to work with people who need a home.

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