COVINGTON, Ky. — Covington and five other neighboring northern Kentucky cities are in the planning process for federal grant money that will go toward helping people experiencing homelessness and those at risk for it.
Housing Authority of Covington employees are hard at work helping people with public housing in the city. Executive Director Steve Arlinghaus says affordable housing is a battle many in northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area face.
“Affordable housing impacts every one of us, one way or another, no matter where you live,” Arlinghaus said.
Affordable housing and homelessness are two priorities local officials want to tackle. Covington Federal Grants Manager Jeremy Wallace says that includes people who do not have a home, live on the street or in shelters across the city.
Wallace says Covington is part of the Northern Kentucky Home Consortium along with Ludlow, Erlanger, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton. He says Home-ARP, a special allocation from the American Rescue Plan, will allow these six northern Kentucky cities to combat homelessness and serve those at risk of becoming homeless. They were awarded a little over $2 million and they’re working on a plan to allocate the funds properly.
“The plan does cover activities that can occur in any of those cities and once we fine-tune what those activities are going to be, we’ll get proposals from agencies that include any of those cities,” Wallace said.
Housing Authority of Covington is on the list of agencies that have been consulted about the fund allocations. Arlinghaus says they’ve got people they’ve helped with housing that they’re looking to help move out of one of their own communities that’s fallen in disrepair over time.
“I think what’s important for it from our end is just giving families a fresh start. There’s too many families out there that have outstanding bills, especially in the utility sector, and when that hinders the ability for them to acquire a new home to live in or move to for one reason or another, no matter where it’s at, it becomes a problem,” said Arlinghaus.
Covington officials say they will likely partner with some of these agencies and organizations to manage the proposed programs and services. Currently, they’re allowing the public to look at what they’ve got planned for the federal money moving forward. After that, the work begins.
“We actually have until 2030 to spend these funds, but our plan is to once we get the plan approved, to activate these fairly quickly. So once the plan’s approved, our next step will be putting out requests for proposals to get actual ideas and projects in line,” Wallace explained.
People have through the end of the day on March 26 to look at the Home-ARP allocation plan and offer public feedback.
Covington officials report it will likely go to the Covington Board of Commissioners for review on March 28.