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Ashland

Department of Planning and Community Development

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Community Development

The Community Development Division administers funding received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the form of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The two main areas of need that are addressed are housing assistance to homeowners and neighborhood development.

Ashland is an entitlement community, which means it receives funding each year without submitting a grant application. Instead, the City must submit a Consolidated Plan to HUD. This multi-year plan identifies the community’s needs and strategies to address those needs. The City must also submit an Action Plan each year that identifies specific projects that will be undertaken in the upcoming year. As an entitlement community, Ashland receives a set amount each year according to a funding formula. The current annual entitlement is approximately $700,000.

Housing Assistance to Homeowners

Ashland’s housing assistance effort is through the homeowner rehabilitation program. It provides repairs, energy conservation measures, and other home improvements up to $25,000 per home. The first priority is to remedy code violations and repair necessities such as a leaking roof. Next is to make improvements that help reduce utility costs. Finally, if funds are available, improvements will be made to improve the comfort of the home such as new flooring and paint. In order to qualify the homeowner must meet income and asset guidelines, occupy the property as his or her principle residence, pay all applicable property taxes and other assessments, and have insurance on the property.

The City prepares a bid package and bids each project. It oversees the work and makes payments. The homeowner signs a 5-year mortgage to cover the cost of the work. Each year the house is inspected to insure it is being cared for. The homeowner must provide proof of current insurance and staff checks for delinquent taxes. If all stipulations are satisfied, 20% of the mortgage obligation is forgiven. If all stipulations are satisfied for five years the entire mortgage is forgiven and the homeowner has no further obligation to the City.

The City maintains a waiting list of homeowners who have met preliminary qualifications for the program. It currently takes approximately two years to reach the top of the list.

Neighborhood Development

A portion of the City’s annual entitlement funding is devoted to neighborhood improvements such as street paving, sidewalk reconstruction, and new water and sewer lines. There are two target neighborhoods: East Central and Pollard. They were designated based on the median income of the residents according to U.S. Census data. The largest project in recent years has been the Joseph P. Harris Park east of 29th Street and north of Carter Avenue in the East Central neighborhood. The railroad tracks between Carter and Central were removed, Railroad Alley was rebuilt, underground utilities were replaced, and the park was developed.

CDBG funds are being used to pay a portion of the cost of the 25th Street Storm Relief Sewer project. This new storm sewer will help carry storm water away from the East Central neighborhood.

Residents are provided an opportunity to suggest improvements during the Consolidated Plan process and each year prior to adoption of the Action Plan. The staff works with the Department of Public Services staff to identify needed improvements and set priorities. Projects are undertaken as funds are available.

Urban Renewal Agency

There is a board that guides the CDBG programs. The URA board is made up of five citizen members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Board of City Commissioners. The board usually meets the first Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m.

Contact Information

The Community Development staff is split between the City Building, 1700 Greenup Avenue, Room 208, and the Assisted Housing Authority Building, 1436 Greenup Avenue. Office hours for all staff are Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Prior to visiting either office it is recommended that you call to make an appointment. You may call 606-327-2030 and be connected with the proper staff person. The fax number is 606-325-8412. You may also contact the staff by e-mail at commdev@ashlandky.org.