Press Releases

U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in conjunction with a 50% match of local sources, has awarded a $1,000,000 grant to support the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation’s (KHIC) Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) initiative. This initiative will provide low-interest loans, technical assistance, and financial support to assist area houseboat manufacturers in expanding product lines to include innovative, energy-efficient homes. This effort will create or save an estimated 30 to 40 jobs throughout the region.

“Lake Cumberland is known as the houseboat capital of the world, but recent economic events have caused this critical industry to struggle and job opportunities to suffer,” said Rogers. “This forward-leaning initiative by Kentucky Highlands is great news for our houseboat manufacturers and will help these vital employers transition to expanding markets while keeping factory doors open. With these transition funds to design and build environmentally sound, energy efficient homes, ARC and Kentucky Highlands continue to lead the way forward.”

In response to the impacts of the Lake Cumberland pool reduction and recent economic downturns, KHIC has partnered with the University of Kentucky (UK) on HBEER. Several houseboat manufacturing facilities in the region have severely slowed or ceased operations. With UK architects, engineers, and experts providing technical knowhow, HBEER aims to produce energy-efficient, low-income housing units by refitting local houseboat factories and restarting production lines while utilizing the existing, skilled workforce. Ultimately, the project seeks to produce energy-efficient housing and replace homes with high energy costs throughout the Commonwealth.
KHIC was formed in 1968 to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities in Southeastern Kentucky. KHIC currently serves the following twenty-two counties in Kentucky: Bell, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Whitley. Over the last 36 years, KHIC has invested more than $123 million in over 400 private enterprises in Appalachia Kentucky.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information visit