AEP Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to HDA

Gift will help build homes for very low-income families

HAZARD, Ky. (July 28, 2021) – Eight homes for very low-income families will be built over the next year in southeastern Kentucky thanks to the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation.

Housing Development Alliance, Inc. (HDA), a nonprofit affordable housing developer located in Hazard, has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the AEP Foundation to support its Affordable Housing in East Kentucky project. The project, as part of HDA’s Homeownership Program, will build 8 energy efficient homes for qualifying families in Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry counties.

The gift is part of the Foundation’s commitment to providing basic human services in the areas of hunger and housing to assure that people have the necessities to build successful lives.

On Fri., July 23, AEP External Affairs Manager Bob Shurtleff visited Gurney’s Bend in Hazard to present the $100,000 check to HDA Executive Director Scott McReynolds.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the work HDA is doing and to support the community,” Shurtleff said. “It’s great to work for a corporation, like AEP, that gives back to the community. And the stories that you hear of the people going in these homes not only means a lot to the people here, but it also means a lot to us as a Kentucky Power and AEP Foundation family.”

One of those stories is about new homeowner Alfred, whose home in the new Gurney’s Bend subdivision in Hazard has been partially funded by the AEP Foundation grant. Alfred currently provides a home for his grandchildren, but the home he lives in right now is too small. He’s been sleeping on the couch every night so that his grandkids can have a bedroom. His new home, which will be completed soon, will have plenty of space, and for the first time in a long time, Alfred will have a bedroom of his own.

I’m so proud of what HDA is doing in providing affordable housing for those who want to own a home. We’re not only building homes; we’re building communities. That’s a transformative thing in this area.

- Emily Jones Hudson, a local pastor and Chair of HDA’s Board of Directors

HDA will use the $100,000 grant to help very low-income East Kentuckians afford the cost of a new home and become first-time homeowners.

Each of the 8 qualifying homeowners will receive a $12,500 grant to help them afford the construction of a new home. The 8 houses are 3-bedroom, 1 or 2-bathroom homes constructed by HDA’s crew of professional carpenters, and every home is built of the highest quality materials and is energy efficient, saving families over $900 a year on utility costs.

“The impact of the AEP Foundation gift will have tremendous and lasting impact on our community,” said HDA Executive Director Scott McReynolds.

“Building these eight homes will have almost a million-dollar impact on our economy,” McReynolds explained. “It will employ a lot of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople and will result in over $300,000 in materials being purchased from local vendors. In addition, it will add nearly a million dollars to the local property tax base.”

He added, “But most importantly, eight families will have a high quality, affordable home of their own. We are truly grateful for this generous gift.”

The AEP Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives in the communities served by AEP and Kentucky Power. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing, and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music, and cultural heritage. Find out more at by clicking the AEP logo above.

To find out more about Housing Development Alliance, Inc., visit www.hdahome.org. Those interested in the Homeownership Program may call HDA at 606-436-0497.

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About Housing Development Alliance, Inc.
Serving Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry counties, the Housing Development Alliance (HDA) is a 27-year-old nonprofit housing developer that serves as lender, counselor, developer, and contractor for low-income persons in need of housing assistance. We work with multiple organizations within the Federal, State, and Local governments and in the private sector to help individuals break down barriers to access the resources they need to build financial stability through affordable housing. For more information, visit www.hdahome.org.

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