Millersburg Residents, Community Benefit from Innovative Housing Program for Seniors

Krista Buckel

859-231-0054 x1034


1450 North Broadway

Lexington, KY 40505


They are called ‘the Golden Years’—that expanse of time between retirement and death—when seniors kick back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Many downsize and travel, but for seniors of limited means, the future feels foreboding, especially when essentials like rent, utilities, and food reach a 40-year high due to excessive inflation.


Anna Cassity knows these worries well. When she moved to the tight-knit community of Millersburg in rural Bourbon County, she said she wouldn’t move again. In fact, she told her son that she didn’t care if her house fell around her; the next move she’d make would be to the cemetery.


The 84-year-old is not alone in that sentiment. According to a 2021 study by The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 75 percent of adults in the United States over 50 would like to stay in their current homes or age-in-place. Still, only 34 percent are prepared for the physical home modifications that may be necessary.


Ms. Cassity remembers Millersburg as “a lively little town” with a pool room, Texaco station, Cadet Inn, Bridget’s Kitchen, and various other stores and restaurants.


Cassity’s house stands as a monument to those days. At one time, it was owned by Dr. V.C. Moseley, a town physician who lived and practiced medicine under the same roof. The doorbell on her home still bears the doctor’s name, which she and her husband chose to preserve as part of their home’s unique past.


Like any other aging house, the home where Ms. Cassity raised her family required maintenance, often an impossible financial burden for seniors living on a fixed income. Cassity’s home was no exception. It desperately needed plumbing repairs and upgrades. Despite the severity of these needs and without plans to repair the home, Cassity was unwilling to move.


Many folks would have sold out and moved on, but the widow, who has debilitating arthritis that makes walking slow and painful, loved her tiny home and did not want to leave. So, Cassity’s neighbors, Eddie and Anna Carter, put her in touch with Community Ventures to see if there was anything it could do to assist her with her housing situation.


Most Millersburg residents are familiar with Community Ventures’ efforts to help the city and residents meet their goals for the community. While the non-profit has jumpstarted the local economy by transforming the old Millersburg Military Institute campus into Mustard Seed Hill, it did not have a program for residents like Cassity.


When Kevin Smith, Millersburg resident and President and CEO of Community Ventures, heard about Cassity’s situation, he worked on a solution to help her and other struggling homeowners in Millersburg – Aging in Place with Community Ventures. This program would not have been possible without funding support from Kentucky Housing Corporation.


“I was overjoyed. That’s all I can say,” said Cassity of Community Ventures’ offer to buy and repair her house and rent it back to her at an amount she could afford.


The program is simple. Community Ventures negotiates a fair market value, pays the homeowner for their property, makes the necessary repairs, and rents the home back to the resident at an affordable fixed rate for as long as they wish to remain in the house.


“At Kentucky Housing Corporation, we have been investing in quality affordable housing solutions for more than 50 years, because we know the difference a safe, affordable home has on an individual or family’s life,” said Winston Miller, Kentucky Housing Corporation executive director and chief executive officer. “It provides them stability and roots in the community. It gives them a foundation from which they can grow.”


Cassity is not the only Millersburg homeowner participating in Aging in Place with Community Ventures, and the non-profit is open to working with other residents to see if this initiative fits their needs.


“At Community Ventures, we understand that creating solutions to meet a community’s unique needs requires building relationships, so that’s where we start,” said Kevin Smith. “Once we know we can trust folks and they trust us, we can begin to work together and to create solutions to meet their needs, and the Aging in Place program is a great example of that.”


The program is a win for homeowners, who come away with a financial nest egg and peace of mind knowing that, until they choose to leave, or they pass away, they will have a safe, comfortable, and affordable place to call home. The program also benefits Millersburg by securing future tax revenue for the city through the preservation of historic properties and buildings that otherwise would deteriorate beyond repair. The program also allows Community Ventures and its funding partner, Kentucky Housing Corporation, to see its dollars at work and fulfill its mission of providing safe, quality, and affordable housing for all.