HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) Western Kentucky tornado survivors, and some groups helping them get new homes, get a financial shot in the arm.

$16 million from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will go to groups to help hundreds of survivors pay for new places to live. Officials say the money awarded by the state is expected to help families pay down the mortgage once they’re built and ready.

“the benefit for the families is enormous,” said Heath Duncan of the Habitat for Humanity Pennyrile Region.

Kentucky Habitat for Humanity will get $4 million of the $16 million. Duncan says his chapter plans to build ten homes by the end of this year in Dawson Springs, and state officials say up to 50 new homes across the Pennyrile Region, which covers Christian, Hopkins and Webster Counties, by the end of next year. He says the money from the state will help cover part of the mortgage, letting survivors pay it off quicker.

“We can use up to $40,000 on each unit. SO, a house that we would normally sell for $100,000, we’ll sell it to the family for $60,000,’ Duncan explained.

The money will be used for new homes for survivors in 13 counties, also including Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties, which state officials say will provide up to 300 new homes statewide. The Mayfield-Graves County Fuller Center for Housing is also getting $4 million, which Dave Wright says will help them build up to a hundred new homes closer to Mayfield.

“We had, probably 300 homes totally destroyed, just right here in Mayfield and Graves County, and others were damaged to the point where they’re not livable. It’s a huge, huge need,” said Wright.

“At $40,000 a unit, it’s enough for a hundred houses, that will be for all of west Kentucky. It’s a pretty significant portion. And we think there will be more to come as times go on,” added Duncan.

Duncan says the money will start becoming available this July.

(This story was originally published on May 11, 2022)