Gurney’s Bend

“If anybody wants to support something that’s a good thing, this is it. Just look at what’s been done here—there’s going to be 15 families who have a place to live that probably wouldn’t have a place to live.”
—Alfred Fugate, homeowner at Gurney’s Bend
“I’ve never had the opportunity to be a homeowner. I greatly appreciate it.”
—Charlie Herald, homeowner at Gurney’s Bend
“By all working together, the City of Hazard and HDA were able to turn what was an eyesore into a thriving community with 15 high-quality homes. As Gurney Norman said at our first wall raising, ‘Allais is being born again, literally.’ None of this would have been possible without the CDBG funding provided by DLG.”
—Scott McReynolds, executive director of HDA

Gurney's Bend News

Hazard, Kentucky

Gurney’s Benda partnership between Housing Development Alliance (HDA) and the City of Hazard, Kentucky, which owned the landbrings 15 single-family, income-based affordable houses to a city that had not seen a new development in 50 years. The name comes from Gurney Norman, a celebrated writer who grew up in Allais, the former coal mining section of Hazard where this new subdivision was built. According to the most recent census, Perry County, where Hazard is the seat, has a poverty rate of 30%, an area median income of $40,577, and a per capita income of $25,009. It is designated as “distressed” by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). According to HDA, 15% of the four counties it serves—Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry—live on $10,000 or less per year. HDA estimates that over 28,000 people, including nearly 7,000 children, don’t have a safe, sufficient, and affordable place to live in the region. 


Benefits & Innovation
Gurney’s Bend is more than a subdivision—it is a community revitalization project. The street, which now is home to 15 low-income families in 15 brand-new single-family houses, used to be the site of an abandoned strip mall that at one point was the site of a coal mining operation. The final homeowner to move in lost her previous home in the flood of 2022, and, like many of her neighbors, would not have been able to buy a home if not for the financial support from HDA. The houses were built in just 15 months by HDA with support from multiple sources, including the city of Hazard, Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars, HOME funds, and a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Kentucky Department for Local Government.

Within the city limits of Hazard, Gurney’s Bend is incredibly innovative. There hadn’t been a new housing subdivision built there in 50 years. In addition, the site, an area called Allais, was a coal town until the 1950s, when the company ceased production. The area never fully recovered. At some point, a strip mall was built there, but by 2018, it had been completely abandoned. The storefronts were vacant. Weeds blanketed the property. The pavement was cracked. In short, the street had been forgotten. The city of Hazard, with the help of a Community Development Block Grant, bought the property, razed the building, cleared the land, ran water and sewer lines, and added an access road and sidewalks. In 2021, it sold the land to HDA at a remarkable discount, allowing HDA to afford construction in a county where the cost to build a home often exceeds the home’s appraised value.


  • City of Hazard, Housing Development Alliance


  • AHTF: $366,117
  • HOME funds: $700,000

Molly Tate 
Kentucky Housing Corporation
O: (502) 605-1332
[email protected]  

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