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HONK Celebrates Completion of 35th Home in NKY

Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK) completed its 35th home in the region, hosting an open house on Thursday.

The Legacy House is located at 219 Dell Street in Elsmere.

The home celebrates the work of HONK founder Father John "Jack" Goeke, who attended Thursday's event.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Elsmere Mayor Marty Lenhof, Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky (BIA) Executive Vice President Brian Miller, and HONK Executive Director David Hastings.

Goeke founded HONK in 1991 to address a need for good, affordable homes in the inner city and to create a path for people with limited incomes to own their homes.

HONK developed a lease-to-own program that sets aside a portion of the monthly lease payment to reduce the cost of purchasing the home.

The construction of The Legacy House was supported by the City of Elsmere, the R.C. Durr Foundation, BB&T, Macy’s and BIA, among many others. More than 60 local businesses and dozens of individuals provided support, with more than $50,000 in donated or deeply discounted materials and services. 

“This is our third housing project with HONK and I’m humbled that the City of Elsmere will be home to HONK’s Legacy House,” said Mayor Lenhof. “I believe homeownership creates a foundation in which so many opportunities can come from to improve so many lives. This project is truly a home run.”

Construction on the house began June 14, 2018 with a “Blitz Build,” with volunteer labor provided by many BIA member companies. The home was framed and under roof by the end of the two-day event.

From the beginning, HONK has worked closely with the community to reduce the cost of the completed houses, gaining the support of churches, schools and organizations who have provided volunteer labor, and local businesses that donated or discounted building materials.

“The Legacy House exemplifies what volunteerism is all about,” said Steve Lutkenhoff, HONK’s Construction Manager, who worked alongside Fr. Goeke during the early days of the organization. “Building this house in tribute to Fr. Goeke has been an incredible journey, with outstanding collaboration. HONK is truly blessed with amazing community support.”

The Legacy House is the 35th new home built by the non-profit organization. In addition, HONK has completed 88 rehabs since acquiring its first property in Covington in September 1992. Fr. Goeke retired in 2004.

-Staff report