COAP helping families in 3 counties

Nola Sizemore Staff Writer

November 29, 2013

Not only does Christian Outreach for Appalachian People (COAP) build new homes for moderate, low and very low income Harlan, Bell and Leslie county families and individuals, they also purchase previously owned homes on the market and resell them.

“We go in and fix the worn out stuff — freshen it up and sell it to deserving people,” said COAP Executive-Director Blake Enlow. “I wish we had more funding so we could help more people. We try to do the best we can with what we have. We’re still building new homes and encourage people who would like to be a home owner to come by our office and fill out an application. The only cost to you is the cost for a credit check fee. It’s $13 for an individual or $20 for a couple and we pass that cost on to our clients.”

Enlow said a lot of people are scared for Harlan County right now, but people on a fixed income will be surprised at the home they can afford to live in through the assistance of COAP.

He said you do have to have the credit to support the mortgage.

“People are living in rentals when they could afford to live in their own homes,” said Enlow. “A lot of people don’t think they can. When an application is made and approved and if the people aren’t sure they are ready just yet, we counsel them and get them ready for home ownership.”

Enlow said he has funding to build three new homes and he is applying for more funding.

“We go above and beyond what is required of us,” said Enlow. “Our mission is to provide sustainable, affordable, safe, energy efficient and dry housing with moderate, low and very low income Harlan, Bell and Leslie county families and individuals. In 1980, Marlin Yoder helped to form COAP to help actualize the dream of helping low-income families with their housing needs. In 1993, COAP was formed as an independent non-profit corporation.”

Production statistics for COAP from 1983 to present is 216 new homes built, 418 major rehabs, 14 rental units owned, 220 electrical repairs, 275 siding repairs, 247 septic systems and 307 weatherizations for a total of 2,161 families served.

“We have a housing counselor who will meet with our customers to provide information and advice concerning budgeting, home-ownership, maintenance and the COAP application process,” said Enlow. “We invite you to stop by our office at 301 North Main Street in Harlan and see if we can put you into a home of your dreams.”

For more information or to submit an application, you may call 606-573-9853 or email at coap_blake@harlanonline.net.

Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, nsizemore@civitasmedia.com