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State Awards $800,000 to Improve Six Vacant Newport Houses

Governor Matt Bevin joined federal, state, and local officials in Georgetown last week to announce more than $3.4 million in community development block grant (CDBG) funds for housing rehabilitation projects across Kentucky.

The Campbell County Fiscal Court was awarded $804,000 to put towards the rehabilitation of six vacant and dilapidated houses in Newport.

Those specific addresses were not immediately available.

“We are excited to announce nearly $3.5 million in CDBG funding that will benefit families here in Georgetown and across the Commonwealth,” said Bevin. “Increasing safe, affordable housing is vital to strengthening our communities and promoting economic opportunity. We are grateful to our federal, state and local partners who will help us make these projects a reality for homeowners in Campbell, Christian, Hopkins, Perry and Scott counties.”

Members of the community's delegation to the General Assembly also celebrated the major CDBG funding awards.

"These critical projects are an excellent illustration of government agencies working together to improve communities in all corners of the Commonwealth," said Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown). "This investment will have a tremendous impact on the quality of affordable housing in Georgetown and in other communities across Kentucky. I'm grateful to Governor Bevin and the Department for Local Government for their support of this project."

The CDBG grant program, overseen by The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides assistance to communities for use in revitalizing neighborhoods, expanding affordable housing and economic opportunities, providing infrastructure and/or improving community facilities and services. CDBG projects must comply with federal regulations, and funding is determined based upon project needs, reasonable costs, and overall effectiveness.

Campbell County, along with Newport Millennium Housing Corporation (NMHC), requested funding to address the continued housing rehabilitation and revitalization of the county’s housing stock. The NMHC is a non-profit development arm of the Housing Authority of Newport (HAN).

The project will include the rehabilitation of six units. The properties will be donated to the project by NMHC. The project will consist of the rehabilitation of all six single family homes with CDBG funds. Once each unit is completed, it will be sold to an eligible LMI homeowner. All homes will be in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Structures to preserve the historical integrity of the buildings.

In addition to rehabilitating six units, the county will offer each qualified household a 10-year forgivable $25,000 deferred loan (FDL) as soft second mortgage assistance to the project based upon the ability of the homeowner to pay. The prospective homeowners will be responsible for securing the first mortgage on the property from a private lending institution.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher