HAZARD – It was 13 years ago when the Housing Development Alliance hosted its first Repair Affair, and since then dozens of local families have benefited through free home repairs and safety upgrades. The organization is now gearing up for another Repair Affair while taking a slightly different approach in how it will be funded.
The Housing Development Alliance (HDA) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Perry County, and with the help of several volunteers will make home repairs for 10 families during the next Repair Affair, scheduled for May 11. Director Scott McReynolds said the event will benefit some of the neediest families in the county, and there always exist issues with housing that need to be addressed, from repairing a roof to simple work on a front porch that could make it safer.
“We try to make sure the folks who benefit from it are the folks who can least afford to pay anything,” he said.
All of the work completed during Repair Affair is at no cost to the homeowner, but it does carry a cost for the organization. During the early years up to about three years ago, the HDA was able to utilize a grant from the Kentucky Housing Corporation that paid for roughly half of the cost of Repair Affair each year. But because of budget cuts and an effort to re-prioritize, McReynolds said those grant funds are no longer available.
“We like the event enough that we have kept it going,” McReynolds added. “This is the second or third year we’ve done it without the grant, and we’ve relied completely on the community to do the fundraising.”
Gleaning help from the community in Perry County isn’t a new concept for the HDA, which hosts events throughout the year with the help of local volunteers and sponsorships. But this year they’ll be making more use of the Internet as a tool to raise funds. A website was recently launched along with pages on social media with more information about the Repair Affair, how it works, and whom it benefits. Donations can be pledged through the website, which also allows the donor to see where their money will be used.
“It makes anybody able to be a philanthropist,” said Bailey Richards, a loan fund coordinator for the HDA. “Anybody can give in this instance, and all of it is appreciated, and all of it is needed.”
The fundraising component of Repair Affair just began this month, and McReynolds noted its importance in ensuring future initiatives like this one continue to help people in the county who need it most.
“Fundraising is integral to make this happen,” he said.
For more information about Repair Affair, you can visit www.hdarepairaffair.com.