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[Presentation Video] Navigating Kentucky's Heirs' Property

Heirs’ Property in Appalachian Kentucky

Kevin presented a seminar on heirs' property for University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University cooperative extension officers in Franklin County in spring 2024. This seminar was one of eight “Navigating Kentucky’s Heirs’ Property” seminars funded by Alcorn State University. Participating cooperative extension agents are eligible to apply for a mini-grant offered by Kentucky State University to organize a community-level information session. Kevin has been working with participating agents in eastern Kentucky to utilize the mini-grant to hold “Free Will-Writing Clinic and Heirs’ Property Information Sessions.”

Heirs’ Property in Eastern Kentucky:
Services & Myth Busting (PowerPoint Slides)

A Resource for Heirs' Property Owners and Service Providers

This PowerPoint slideshow is shown during our Free Will-Writing Clinic and Heirs' Property Info Sessions and is designed to clear up misconceptions about heirs' property and provide attendees with straightforward answers to their most common questions.

[Presentation Video] Dimensions of Political Ecology 2024

Heirs’ Property in Appalachian Kentucky

A presentation given by Kevin Slovinsky, Director of Land & Revenues, at the 2024 Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference in Lexington, Ky. The presentation explained what heirs' property is, how it effects landowners and communities in eastern KY, and how the Appalachian Heirs' Property Coalition seeks to address it. Crossing over from analytical research to a vision of fostering economic justice in Central Appalachia, the presentation’s conclusion sketches out an organizing strategy that positions heirs’ property as the portal through which communities can build a kinship-based cooperative economy that can challenge the existing hegemonic extractive land regime in Central Appalachia.

Stylized leaf over triangular mountain

Drinking Water Affordability in Kentucky

Access to clean, affordable water is a human right, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to pay their water bills. Water bills are rising across the country at a rate outpacing inflation. Affordable water is not only important for households to make ends meet, but also from a water system sustainability perspective. Households’ inabilities to pay for water services can create a shortfall in revenue for the utility, thereby jeopardizing the ability to operate and maintain the water system. Utility affordability issues are widespread throughout Kentucky. A snapshot analysis of water bills and water burden across Kentucky using water rates collected in late 2021 through early 2022 shows large variations in monthly water bills across the state, revealing that some households pay six to nine times as much as other households. The three case studies in this report on the water systems with the highest water bills also clearly show that poor water infrastructure is an issue in Kentucky water systems, and yet repairing and replacing failing infrastructure drives up water bills. The report ends with a number of policy recommendations and includes a variety of maps, charts, and appendices.

Family-Land and Love Amidst Extraction: Perspectives on Heirs' Property in Eastern Kentucky (PowerPoint Slides)

For the Racial Wealth Gap, Persistent Poverty, and Heirs’ Property: Analysis, Connections, and Solutions Project

This report engages Objective Two of a larger collaborative project led by the Southern Rural Development Center/Mississippi State University in collaboration with Cassandra Johnson Gaither (Southern Research Office, Research Social Scientist, US Forest Service), Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, Dr. Cassandra Gaither Johnson led the team focusing on Objective Two. It was funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, through a subaward from the US Forest Service to LiKEN. The objective of this study is to determine how heirs’ property owners (HPOs) and their communities understand their own personal and communal wealth and their perceptions of opportunities and barriers to building wealth in general, and the impact of heirs’ property in particular.

Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts: Final Report

Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts: Comprehensive Program Proposal

Stylized tree with leaves and roots surrounded by a border of aerial view of a person's head and arm

Where Credit is Due

Examining USDA Finance, the Farm Credit System, and Barriers to Local Wealth and Sustainability

Cover of Issue Brief including a map of Appalachian sub-regions

Climate Change and Flooding in Central Appalachia

The authors present the observed and projected impacts of climate changes in Central Appalachia with a focus on increased extreme precipitation events and flooding on rural water systems and sanitation.

White woman and man sitting on couch talking

[Video] Clearing Our Titles - Appalachian Heirs' Property: Shepherd Family Testimonial

Heirs' Property Owner Video Testimonial

Charlie and Della Shepherd are residents of Letcher County -- a historically coal-producing county in southeastern Kentucky -- and their property used to be heirs' property. Over 40 years, Della purchased the fractional interests owned by her family members until she owned 100% of her property. Her husband, Charlie, grew up on heirs' property but his father bought out the interests of his co-tenants, like Della, and so Charlie inherited his father's property with a clear title.

Aerial view of canals and land

Canals Video

Project description video

Colorful drawing of a fire with wood underneath

Building a Fire

Resilience toolkit focused on Indigenous knowledge systems

Recent Blog Posts

[WATCH] The Shepherd Family Tell Their Appalachian Heirs' Property Story, Going from Clouded to Clear Titles

[WATCH] The Shepherd Family Tell Their Appalachian Heirs' Property Story, Going from Clouded to Clear Titles

January 23, 2024

Celebrating a Historic Moment in Disarmament: The Crucial Role of Activism and Collaboration

Celebrating a Historic Moment in Disarmament: The Crucial Role of Activism and Collaboration

August 11, 2023

Central Appalachian Folk & Traditional Arts: Comprehensive Plan

Central Appalachian Folk & Traditional Arts: Comprehensive Plan

November 30, 2021

Central Appalachian Folk & Traditional Arts: Final Report

Central Appalachian Folk & Traditional Arts: Final Report

November 30, 2021

LiKEN publishes report about heirs’ property in Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama

LiKEN publishes report about heirs’ property in Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama

November 16, 2021

Social Innovation & User-Experience Design

Social Innovation & User-Experience Design

November 12, 2021

Addressing Climate-Forced Displacement in the United States: A Just and Equitable Response

Addressing Climate-Forced Displacement in the United States: A Just and Equitable Response

July 16, 2021

Bridging the Rural / Urban Divide — watch the recorded first session & enroll for next 3

Bridging the Rural / Urban Divide — watch the recorded first session & enroll for next 3

June 14, 2021

Job Announcement:

Job Announcement:

June 8, 2021

Rising Voices 8: Finding Community Amidst a Pandemic

Rising Voices 8: Finding Community Amidst a Pandemic

June 4, 2021

Searching for Connection in a Time of Distance

Searching for Connection in a Time of Distance

May 20, 2021

The Rural-Urban Divide: How We Got Into This Mess, How We’ll Get Out

The Rural-Urban Divide: How We Got Into This Mess, How We’ll Get Out

May 19, 2021

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