Lee T. Todd Jr. (left) and Kentucky Housing Corp.
CEO Lynn Luellan confer after a news conference announcing
the housing corporation's $300,000 contribution for
research into affordable-housing design.
by George Lewis
Affordable Housing Design Research Fund will generate
ideas and models for creating cost- and energy-efficient,
high-quality and affordable residential building techniques
UK College of Architecture
Ky. (Dec. 11, 2002) -- University of Kentucky
President Lee T. Todd Jr. and Kentucky
Housing Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lynn Luallen
announced today that the housing corporation will
contribute $300,000 to the UK
College of Architecture to establish the Affordable
Housing Design Research Fund, which will help meet
Kentucky's affordable-housing challenge through research
and experimentation. The contribution is eligible
to be matched by the Research Challenge Trust Fund.
One of the expected outcomes to this initiative is
to offer housing providers a greater range of options
in building, designing and developing affordable housing.
These housing providers are often funded by grants
from the Kentucky Housing Corp. This initiative will
provide an avenue by which UK, the housing corporation
and the state's affordable-housing developers can
work together on design concepts to better address
Kentucky's critical housing and land-use needs.
"The Affordable Housing Design Research Fund
will generate ideas and models for creating cost-
and energy-efficient, high-quality and affordable
residential building techniques and technologies," said David Mohney, dean of UK College of Architecture.
President Todd said the project "will have a
special emphasis on Eastern Kentucky using UK research
and scholarly expertise to improve the lives of Kentuckians."
"The bonus is that Bucks for Brains money will
be applied to something as tangible as improving the
quality of living for low- and moderate-income homeowners," Todd said.
"This is the type of investment that can have
a profound impact on Kentucky families - now and in
the future," Luallen said. "Quality, affordable
housing strengthens families financially and emotionally,
thereby strengthening our communities. This is a quality-of-life
investment, and we are thrilled to partner with UK
on this important initiative."
In the first phase of the project, a College of Architecture
design and research team of faculty and students is
developing housing prototypes for a site in Morehead
in conjunction with Frontier Housing Inc., a non-profit
housing organization that has helped Rowan County's
low- and moderate-income families for more than 25
One member of the UK team, visiting professor Maryilis
Nepomechie of Florida International University, is
renowned for her work on affordable housing in Miami's
Little Haiti, a neighborhood that is in the midst
of a socioeconomic renaissance.
According to the 1990 U.S. Census, Kentucky needs
better affordable-housing design. These statistics,
related to the "unaffordability" of housing,
are from the Kentucky Housing Needs Assessment, released
by the Kentucky Housing Commission in October 2001:
-- Approximately two-thirds of low-income renter
households faced high cost. burdens and two-fifths
faced extreme cost burdens.
-- Approximately 55 percent of elderly low-income
renter households faced high cost burdens and about
25 percent faced extreme cost burdens.
-- Some regions of Kentucky had between 10 percent
and 17 percent of their low-income owner households
facing high cost burdens.
High cost burden means people are paying more than
30 percent of their income on housing costs; extreme
cost burden means they spend more than 50 percent.