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Kentucky Gets $5 Million To House Disabled Residents

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is sending more than $5 million to Kentucky to help the state house residents with disabilities who live in poverty, the department announced Tuesday.

The allocation is part of a $150 million effort to prevent people with disabilities in 25 states from becoming institutionalized or homeless, according to a news release from HUD.

Nearly 225 households in Kentucky will receive rental assistance for permanent housing and other supportive services through the funding, which will be administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation, said Charla Jackson Peter, spokeswoman for the corporation.

The assistance will be available to Kentuckians earning less than 30 percent of the median household income level—which would be about $30,000.

Housing agencies in the 25 states were required to apply in order to be considered for funding, said Joe Phillips, spokesman for HUD's Southeast regional office.

The federal support HUD is offering comes via the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance program that aims to allow residents with disabilities to live independently. Kentucky residents qualifying for rental assistance through the grant process will receive housing support for five years, Peter said.

"The goal would be that these individuals and families would be able to sustain themselves within the community once they've integrated in through this five year period," she said.

For families or individuals that cannot sustain themselves after the five year period "there would be opportunities to transition into situations that would sustain them long-term," Peter added.

An additional goal of the grant is to reduce the healthcare costs related to housing individuals in institutional facilities, she said.

No decision has been made on where the assistance program will be focused in the state, Peter said.

About 20 percent of Kentucky residents have some type of disability, according to 2007 American Community Survey data.

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Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.