Houses needed in Hopkins County, but contractors getting harder to find

Houses needed in Hopkins County, but contractors getting harder to find
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The Dec. 10 tornados destroyed several homes in Hopkins County, but now Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield says the rebuilding process is slowing down.

“We need housing,” said Whitfield. “We’ve got 1,500 jobs available and we’ve got 40 or 50 houses for sale in the entire county, so we need additional housing to be built.”

He says getting the people needed to make that happen has been harder than ever.

Judge Whitfield says it’s been difficult to find local contractors and the biggest part of the problem is the lack of specialty contractors who are skilled to install things like HVAC, plumbing and electric.

He says right now it’s also hard for some contractors because the price of materials and interest rates are only getting higher.

“You know, some of the contractors might be concerned about building a house that they don’t already have sold and what that carrying cost is going to be if it doesn’t sell quick,” said Whitfield. “Right now, we know that when a house hits the market, if it is a good house with a decent price it sells immediately.”

He says Hopkins County has always been in a housing shortage, but after losing hundreds of homes in the tornadoes, it’s much worse.

Whitfield also says through the help of a few Amish crews and Habitat for Humanity, some houses are complete, but his advice to those who are in the rebuilding process:

“Just be patient and be in contact with your contractor on a regular basis to make sure you stay at the top of your list,” said Whitfield.

He says he’s been in contact with Governor Andy Beshear to see if out-of-state contractors can temporarily come to Hopkins County and help out, even if they aren’t licensed in Kentucky.

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