Fahe Members Join Coalition to Support “Have a Heart for Housing” Advocacy Day

Advocacy, Housing | January 12, 2024
Letcher County resident Regina Quillen talks about losing her home and the impact ofdeadly flooding that hit Eastern Kentucky in July 2022

Fahe Members Join Coalition to Support “Have a Heart for Housing” Advocacy Day

Affordable housing developers, advocates, and community members from Letcher County to Louisville, KY, showed up at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, KY on January 9 to advocate for major investments in affordable housing in the 2024-25 biennial budget.

The aim of this legislative advocacy day was to call attention to the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s shortage of over 89,000 units of affordable housing, exacerbated by recent natural disasters and a growing population. The coalition urged the Legislature to make significant investments in affordable housing development and preservation in the 2024-25 biennial budget, while also advocating for policy measures to benefit housing-insecure Kentuckians, including no-cost birth certificates for people experiencing homelessness and a method for expungement of evictions from the public record.

Fahe staff from our Membership and Advocacy teams showed up to support to the participants, including many Fahe Members and Friends, including Fahe Members HOMES Inc., Housing Development Alliance, Frontier Housing, and Community Ventures. Also present were Homeless & Housing Coalition of KY, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity, Louisville Urban League, Coalition for the Homeless (Louisville), Kentucky Affordable Housing Coalition, The Housing Partnership, Inc., New Directions Housing Corp., and many more.

“​​I think we need funding now to stop the bleeding of population from our disaster-struck areas,” said Andrew Bates, Fahe’s advocacy associate. “As well as to prevent the rent situation in Lexington and Louisville from really skyrocketing out of control.” 

Highlights from the press conference featuring housing experts and members of the public from across the state include:

  • Seth Long, Executive Director, HOMES Inc, shared an update on flood recovery work in Southeast KY and reiterated the need for major investment to repair and replace flood-damaged homes.
    • Regina Quillen, Letcher Co. flood survivor, shared her story of losing her home to the July 2022 floods and again to house fire, before eventually finding help from Fahe Member HOMES Inc.
    • Macie Wheeler, Mission Engagement Director, Habitat for Humanity of Bowling Green/Warren Co., shared the story of the Hadi family, Iraqi refugees who lost everything in the December 2021 tornado outbreak but found their new home, and a sense of belonging, through Habitat.  
    • Carolyn Stephens, Shelbyville resident, discussed the need for more accessible and affordable housing for seniors across the Commonwealth.
    • Andrew Hawes, Executive Director, The Housing Partnership, Inc., described the urgent need for many more affordable units in our major cities, amid skyrocketing rents and rates of homelessness.
    • Tanyqua Oliver, Louisville resident, shared her story of living in a dilapidated, mold-infested rental unit, and advocated for a tax credit to help owners of affordable housing pay for repairs and maintenance.

The event was attended by state legislators and press, and there were additional individual meetings with respective local legislators.

For more details, check out this media coverage: