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Progress continues on eastern Kentucky high ground communities

Gov. Andy Beshear gave an update on the state of eastern Kentucky's high ground communities during his regular media briefing Thursday.
Gov. Andy Beshear gave an update on the state of eastern Kentucky's high ground communities during his regular media briefing Thursday.

The development of high ground housing communities is progressing in eastern Kentucky for survivors of the 2022 floods.

The nonprofit Housing Development Alliance has built or restored homes for 100 survivors starting since recovery began.

The state is also partnering with the nonprofit network Fahe, which will help locals with the homeownership process.

Laura Thomas, the mayor of Jackson in Breathitt County, said the partnership would help communities like hers.

“We are in a housing crisis. Our infrastructure is old, and we need many projects to help in this recovery effort,” Thomas said. “Fahe has the resources, they have the expertise to help with housing.”

Houses are currently being built at two of seven planned high ground communities across eastern Kentucky:

Two homes have been built at The Cottages at Thompson Branch in Letcher County, with eight more under construction.

Eleven homes are being finished at the high ground community in Wayland, Floyd County.

A groundbreaking is also expected this summer for 33 houses in New Hope Estates in Floyd County.

The final master plans for four other developments have also been completed. That includes a 147 home development at Chestnut Ridge in Knott County, a 116 home development at Grand View in Letcher County, a 102 home development at Skyview in Perry County and a 132 home development at Olive Branch in Knott County.

Gov. Andy Beshear pointed out the number of residents these communities could accommodate during his regular news briefing Thursday.

“We believe that on Skyview alone, we could have over 1,000 Kentuckians living there in about a year-and-a-half to two years,” Beshear said. “1,000 Kentuckians in a brand new neighborhood – that's more than a step, that is a solution.”

Families impacted by 2021 and 2022 eastern Kentucky floods and are in need of housing can take an interest questionnaire online.

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Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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