New funds should help Appalachian home-buyers

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

More people in eastern Kentucky should be able to afford housing.

The US Department of Agriculture is awarding $25 million of mortgage funds to the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, or FAHE. 50 local organizations in four states are part of FAHE, which helps people in the Appalachia region with home payments.

Scott McReynolds works at the Housing Development Alliance in Hazard, a member of FAHE. He says the office receives between 10-15 calls a week from low-income families needing help.

"There's hardly ever enough money to go around, so to have this additional money for this area is great," McReynolds said.

So far the housing alliance has built rehabbed 250 homes, built 45 rental units and 125 new homes, and is hoping to build more. Jim King, the President and CEO of FAHE, says nothing is more important than having a roof over your head.

"Education can only go so far when you don't have a decent home to go to," King said.

"Not only does someone get a safe decent place to live, but it's also economic development for the region," McReynolds said.

"You're buying your lumber at the local store, and suppliers are involved. So this puts a lot of people active into the economy," King said.

Both say this is a win-win for home-buyers and the community. The loan will also help lower interest rates for some to as low as 1%.

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