This month, Murray State University alumnus Edwin King succeeds Kathryn Peters as Executive Director of the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the quasi-governmental agency that works to provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Kentuckians. King said he is looking for innovative solutions for affordable housing, as well as extending their partnerships in west Kentucky.
King said affordable housing is the foundation for families and children to thrive and have successful outcomes. He said in the past fiscal year, KHC invested $791 million dollars statewide in affordable housing, but only $59 million of that went to west Kentucky. He said there are a lack of volunteers and partners in the region.
“We just did what's called a "K-count", at the federal level it's called a point in time count, but to give you some idea of homeless numbers - KHC found there are 212 homeless individuals in the Purchase and Pennyrile area development districts.” King said. “That low of the number comes from the simple fact that we don't have the partnerships in west Kentucky in order to count those individuals. I hope that those numbers are that low, but we really need to improve our network there.”
King said that he wants to look for innovative ways to solve housing problems while solving other problems related to housing. He said he wants to use two programs as the framework for improvement. One of them being Recovery Kentucky and the other being the Scholar House Program.
“Recovery Kentucky was formed to help people recover from substance abuse which we found leads to chronic homelessness.” King said. “Those programs throughout the state were really designed to reduce the state’s drug problems and resolve some of the state’s homeless issues.”
He said the number one solution to homelessness is job creation. He also cited Gov. Bevin’s efforts in reforming the foster care system as a way to aid in housing solutions. King served as a chief of staff in the Finance Administration Cabinet under Gov. Matt Bevin and was Vice Chairman of the KHC before moving into his new position.
The KHC will be hosting a “Housing Connect, Collaborate and Innovate Summit” in Hopkinsville on October 19th. King said this event will be a way to listen to potential partners and look for innovative housing solutions. There will be three more summits around the state in Berea, Covington and Elizabethtown later this year.