Boyle County Habitat for Humanity searches for family to benefit

Published 8:49 am Friday, March 2, 2018

State Habitat launches program to accelerate affordable housing builds

A family in need of a home is needed by the Boyle County Habitat for Humanity — the build scheduled to begin soon has been stopped because the family benefiting has moved out of the area.

“It’s a really good deal, if you want to live in a house you own and you don’t mind doing a little bit of work,” said Russ Goodwin, president of the Boyle County Habitat for Humanity.

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The family that was scheduled to benefit backed out of the program about three weeks ago, moving out of Boyle County. The build was expected to start in a few weeks. Goodwin said they are searching for a new family.

The search for a new family comes on the cusp of the 2020 Housing Vision, a three-year program launched by Kentucky Habitat for Humanity in early February. 

According to a press release, nearly 1.2 million Kentuckians do not have access to affordable housing; one in every four Kentucky children lacks adequate resources and lives in poverty. To assess the need of Kentucky families, statewide housing need assessment surveys can be filled out.

Goodwin said he was glad to see the program launched, because he hopes it will bring forward those interested in benefiting from a Habitat for Humanity house.

Goodwin said there are a lot of misconceptions about how Habitat for Humanity works.

“People think we just give someone a house. That’s not how it works,” he said. Actually, Goodwin said, there are three things the family has to meet or do in order to get a house.

First, the family has to have a need for the house. “If you’re living in something substandard, where the roof leaks, there’s no insulation, it costs an astronomical amount to heat it — something substandard,” Goodwin said.

The family also has to be willing to help build the house in some way. 

Goodwin said there is a program where children can earn points for the family if they make good grades in school. Other recipients, he said, help in the actual building of the house. And for those who can’t, they do other things, such as help clean after work.

Finally, the family has to be able to pay for the house. The cost of the house comes down to the cost of materials, Goodwin said. Labor is free. There are discounts involved, such as no interest on the home loan.

He explained for families to qualify for housing, their housing and utilities need to be over 30 percent of their income; affordable housing, according to the Kentucky Habitat for Humanity, is those who pay less than 30 percent of their income on housing and utilities.

“In general, the amount that they need to make to qualify is somewhere in the range of $15,000 a year and, the highest, $45,000 a year,” he said. That depends on the number of children in the family, too — for those with only one child, the threshold will be lower than those with multiple children.

“That’s usually what it takes to qualify. Some people have school debt … they might qualify,” he said. Basically, it’s for those who don’t have a lot of expendable income left after paying bills.

“It’s a hand up, not a hand out,” he said.

The houses that the Habitat have built are about 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, costing about $60,000. That, Goodwin said, will come out to about $250 a month, plus taxes and insurance.

“Most people that we in the group are talking to are paying about $400 or more to rent — and utilities on top of that. This ends up being cheaper and they have their own house when they’re all done,” Goodwin said. “But then they have the responsibilities of home ownership — some do want that and some don’t.”

If there are a lot of families interested in the 2020 Housing Vision, Goodwin said, they could use the resources being made available by the state, which are promised to accelerate the construction process, according to the release.

“Project partners will use traditional and non-traditional methods of construction to accelerate the production and availability of affordable housing for repairs, rehabilitation and recycling of existing housing stock and the creation of new rental, single-family homes and multi-family units,” the release states. It also speaks to using cargo containers and tiny house communities for those who could benefit.

The goal of 2020 Housing Vision is to create a “sustainable model of collaborative and affordable housing development that can be implemented anywhere.”

Goodwin said they would welcome that kind of development in Danville, especially if it comes with more volunteers. Currently, the Boyle County Habitat for Humanity has between 10 and 12 regular volunteers. There are church groups and other organizations that pitch in during the summer to help.


Anyone interested in benefiting from a Habitat for Humanity home or in volunteering with the organization can reach the local office, located at 447 South Third Street in Danville, by calling (859) 236-9153.


Anyone interested in benefiting from a Habitat for Humanity home or in volunteering with the organization can reach the local office, located at 447 South Third Street in Danville, by calling (859) 236-9153.