August 1, 2022

New tools help cities take realistic look at homelessness

The Kentucky League of Cities is pleased to launch two powerful new tools for cities and communities interested in taking a realistic look at affordable housing and its link to homelessness. These tools are part of KLC’s continuing homelessness and affordable housing initiative.

KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney said the problems associated with housing and homelessness are real, and city leaders are eager for ongoing resources. "Our member cities care about their citizens. KLC wants to ensure we provide the most beneficial services possible to help battle these issues and find affordable housing options for everyone who calls our cities home," Chaney said.

KLC’s Step-by-Step Guide to Examine Homelessness and Affordable Housing in Your City is a how-to digital publication. The document is a compilation of up-to-date information and resources, including local contacts for homelessness services. It also includes considerations for communities that want to attract housing developments.

The easy-to-use KLC guide helps city officials assess their community’s housing gaps, the difference between affordable and market rent, and what it all means for people in your city. The guide also includes step-by-step suggestions on taking action and was prepared with input from Kentucky social services and homelessness and housing experts.

KLC has partnered with Eastern Kentucky University's Department of Government to provide local snapshots of homelessness in every Kentucky county. That partnership shows that affordable housing and housing insecurity are inextricably linked. The project includes striking new information on the housing situation in every Kentucky county. You can access the project here. Community leaders may be surprised to find the lack of affordable housing across the commonwealth.

The data set includes figures on unhoused individuals, including children and veterans, rent availability and affordability, average renter's wages, and other local metrics. Multiple organizations in your city can use this valuable data prepared by Shannon Catron, Master of Public Administration candidate in the EKU Department of Government.

KLC held its first Homelessness and Housing Summit in November 2021 with more than 200 virtual participants. On July 26, KLC provided a free webinar to launch the new tools with more than 180 in virtual attendance.

“We’ve got to work together to see real outcomes for our communities. KLC has built lasting partnerships with the real experts on housing and housing insecurity in Kentucky,” said Terri Johnson, KLC member relations manager. “We will continue to provide information and resources on an ongoing basis.”

You can find information on KLC’s Homelessness and Affordable Housing Resource Page.