Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Fletcher Announces Funding for Somerset Housing Project

Press Release Date:  Thursday, January 19, 2006  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

           Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today announced a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the city of Somerset.  Funds will be used for the Somerset Scattered Site Phase III Project.

            Funding will be used to address 10 homes in Somerset.  The city specifically targeted the low income, disabled and elderly homeowners of Somerset whose homes were in need of repair.  A total of 15 applicants were prioritized.  Of those, 10 homes will be demolished and rebuilt on existing properties.  The other 5 will be placed on stand-by in the event that more funding becomes available or one of the other participants are ineligible or decide not to proceed.

            “Providing Kentuckians access to decent and sanitary housing is crucial,” said Governor Fletcher.  “This funding will improve the quality of life for those individuals in Somerset who are involved in this project.”

            This is the third scattered site housing project funded for the city of Somerset.  All houses were inspected to determine the repair needs.  Most homes have failing foundations.  Other issues for some of the homes are interior mold, unsafe electrical wiring, leaking roofs, little or no insulation and the use of wood stoves or space heaters as the source of heat.    

            “It is important that we do all that we can to ensure safe housing for all Kentuckians,” said Senator Vernie McGaha.  “I applaud the efforts of community leaders and the administration for working to see this project become a reality.”

                Somerset Mayor J.P. Wiles noted, "This has been a priority for Somerset for the past three years.  It gives me great pride that the city of Somerset can help those who cannot help themselves.  On behalf of the city, I would like to thank Governor Fletcher for this grant award."

            Kentucky's U. S. Congressional leaders continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally as well as within the commonwealth.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through GOLD, which administers the CDBG Small Cities program in Kentucky.