Gov. Beshear Joins Community To Celebrate New Homes at Wayland High-Ground Site

11 families expected to move in this June

WAYLAND, Ky. (April 9, 2024) – As part of ongoing efforts to rebuild from flooding in Eastern Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear today joined Appalachia Service Project (ASP) volunteers for a celebration of the progress being made at the high-ground community site in Wayland.

Eleven homes are being built on the four-acre site in partnership with Appalachia Service Project and with partial funding from the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. Each home received $100,000 from the fund.

The beginnings of the eleven homes are visible on-site. As the framing and exteriors are completed, work will begin on the interiors. It is expected that the homes will be ready for occupancy in June.

“We made a promise to Eastern Kentucky that we would be here until every life and structure is rebuilt,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s an honor to stand here today with these teams of volunteers so deeply rooted in serving this community that they are dedicating their time and talents to improve the lives of 11 families by building safe and affordable homes, outside of the flood plain. It’s a real testament to the hearts of Kentuckians.”

The celebration brought together state and local officials, community leaders and volunteers to mark high-ground building efforts. 

In October, Gov. Beshear visited the site to announce that the nearly build-ready land, previously owned by the local volunteer fire department, had been donated to build a community on higher ground. The site is located on State Highway 1086 near Main Street in Floyd County. 

“Floyd County is a special place with special people who are strong and resilient,” said Floyd County Judge/Executive Robbie Williams. “They have lived here for decades, their roots run deep, and even when disaster strikes, they do not want to move from our county. I want to thank the Governor, Appalachia Service Project and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s affiliate, the Floyd County Community Foundation, for their hard work to help our people continue to call Floyd County home.”

Melisa Winburn, ASP president and CEO, said, “The long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky have been a testament to the power of community, collaboration and resilience. We are deeply grateful to our partners, stakeholders, sponsors and supporting organizations for their unwavering commitment and support. This achievement is not merely about constructing homes; it’s about restoring hope, rebuilding lives and reaffirming the strength and resilience of the people of Wayland and Floyd County.”

Commitment to Building on High Ground
Gov. Beshear previously provided details on seven announced high-ground communities, including The Cottages at Thompson Branch, Skyview, Chestnut Ridge, Olive Branch, Grand View and New Hope, and an additional community in Floyd County

Key updates include:  

  • Homes at The Cottages at Thompson Branch will be ready for occupancy next week. Construction on eight more homes will begin this summer through a partnership with Homes Inc.
  • A bridge leading to the Skyview community has been upgraded, and work is underway to widen and improve the access road for home-building contractors and residents at the future site. Bids will be going out for water and sewer installation in the coming days.
  • At Chestnut Ridge, access road bids are in, and a contractor will be announced soon to break ground. Underground utilities will follow right behind the road, allowing the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky to begin developing their neighborhood.
  • At Olive Branch, infrastructure work is ongoing, including upgrading a water treatment facility that will improve service to additional parts of the county.
  • Environmental and geotechnical reviews are being finalized at Grand View in Letcher County.

Working to address immediate housing needs, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund continues to partially fund several homes being built on high ground. To date, the fund has provided over $1.4 million for 19 homes, including homes in Floyd, Breathitt, Knott, Perry, Owsley, Martin and Letcher counties. These homes are being built in partnership with nonprofit builders, including HOMES Inc, Housing Development Alliance and Partnership Housing.