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Kentucky Housing Corporation Honors Achievements in Affordable Housing

Published on September 16, 2019 by Kentucky Housing Corporation
Kentucky Housing Corporation Honors Achievements in Affordable Housing

FRANKFORT, KY — Awards honoring significant achievement in affordable housing were presented during the 2019 Kentucky Affordable Housing Conference in Lexington, which was held September 12-13. Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) and the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky partnered on the event to bring together the largest consortium of housing professionals across the state to address housing needs and innovations for housing solutions.

Two special awards were sponsored by KHC honoring lifetime achievements dedicated to furthering affordable housing.

The Dorothy J. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Hal Keller. This award is presented to an individual who has devoted much of their career to helping make the dream of affordable housing a reality in Kentucky.

Hal Keller has been involved in affordable housing for over 40 years as a consultant to state and local governments, an administrator of state and local housing programs, and as a neighborhood organizer and tenant advocate. He has led one of the most esteemed housing organizations in the nation, and even after retiring, continues to support in a president emeritus role. Starting in 1993, he served as director of development and then president of Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Under his leadership, more than $4 billion was raised and invested in private corporate equity for Low Income Housing and Historic Tax Credit properties across Ohio and Kentucky. In Kentucky, Ohio Capital has syndicated $477 million in tax credit equity across 101 projects and 5,046 units of affordable housing. In total, his work has generated over 46,500 units of affordable housing. His work will have lasting impact on individuals, families, and organizations and he has been a valued partner for the Commonwealth.

The Mae Street Kidd Award was presented to Sherry Currens, recognizing her outstanding public service. The award is named after the Louisville state representative who sponsored the legislation creating KHC in 1972.

Prior to her retirement this June, Sherry Currens served and led a statewide organization created to assist and empower those who suffer from intimate partner violence. Under her leadership, the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, formerly known as the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, grew to 15 member programs serving all 120 counties in Kentucky. She guided a team of forward-thinking staff to build trauma-informed programming, including a nationally recognized economic empowerment program that includes financial education, Individual Development Accounts, micro loans, and an array of supportive housing and rental assistance projects. One of the most notable housing-related accomplishments for KCADV while Ms. Currens served as executive director was to secure funding and tax credits to build 84 units of transitional housing for low-income survivors of domestic violence. These units are located in Paducah, Murray, Lexington, Morehead, and Louisville. A sixth, located in Hazard, is currently under construction and will be ready for occupancy later this year.

“As we struggle to find solutions to confront the current housing affordability crisis, the important work of these special awardees shows us how determination, creativity and commitment can result in innovative solutions that have made a significant difference in the lives of many Kentuckians,” said KHC’s Interim Executive Director Lisa Beran.

About Kentucky Housing Corporation:

As Kentucky’s housing finance agency, KHC offers programs designed to create, preserve, and sustain affordable housing. In partnership with state and federal agencies, KHC administers programs that assist low- and moderate-income households with affordable home loans and down payment assistance, affordable rental homes, housing solutions for homeless individuals, and specialized housing with supportive services.