HUD Secretary in EKY to discuss millions of dollars in funding for disaster recovery

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Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - The Secretary of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge was in Breathitt County on Wednesday.

She met with local leaders in various Eastern Kentucky counties about the nearly $300,000,000 dollars headed to the state to support disaster relief.

“Think about how you build for a future, and I’m just asking you to do that, so we don’t come back again with the loss of life, with the loss of homes,” said Fudge.

The decision on where the money will be allocated is based off of 20 different counties and their needs and request to the state.

“We’ve said all along that this is fundamentally a housing crisis. We know infrastructure got hammered, we know businesses got hurt but at the end of the day it’s really the housing that’s the biggest unmet need. So, we’re hopeful that a significant portion of the money will go to housing,” said Scott McReynolds, executive director of the Housing Development Alliance.

Aside from housing infrastructure was at the top of many community leaders lists.

“To develop new communities for educational opportunities and for individuals to get in a much safer community up out of the flood zone,” said Jeff Dobson, Knott County Judge Executive.

“Infrastructure, to support the development. Whether it’s economic development projects to create new jobs, to bring people in. To help build our population back up because in the last two floods in 21 and 22 we have lost population,” added Laura Thomas, Mayor of Jackson.

The room was full of various county leaders who believe this funding will help Eastern Kentucky meet many of the needs still needed after the July flood.

“Fudge said this morning, you gotta be the squeaky wheel, and we’re gonna squeak the wheel and get every penny we can,” said Jeff Noble, Breathitt County Judge Executive.

Here is a list of the 20 counties eligible to receive money from the grant: Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Cumberland, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Whitley and Wolfe Counties.