Covington History – City of Covington, Kentucky
Official Geographical Location:
39.03683 North, 84.51434 West
Zip codes: 41011 & 41012 (Kentucky Main Post Boxes), 41014 (Rouse), 41015 (Latonia), 41016 (Ludlow), 41017 (Dixie), 41018 (Erlanger), 41019 (Internal Revenue), 41901 (Inland Revenue Service)
Population in 1990: 43,264
(52,535 in 1970)
Number of dwellings: 19,117
Land area: 34.265 sq. kms.
(13.23 sq miles or 8647 acres)
(13.23 sq miles or 8647 acres)
Water area: 1.368 sq.kms.
(0.53 sq miles or 338 acres)
(0.53 sq miles or 338 acres)
The largest place named
Covington in the world is the county seat of Kenton County, North Central
Kentucky. It is to be found at the confluence of the Ohio & Licking Rivers
on the left bank opposite and south of Cincinnati. The recently completed 1-75
road leads from Lexington to Covington. The town is nicknamed "The Dixie
Population figures have
steadily risen from 24,500 in 1870 through 37,400 in 1890 to reach a peak of
52,535 in 1970. By 1980 the figure had fallen back to 49,013. Covington is the
second largest city in State of Kentucky.
The Covington county
subdivision has a population of 112,808 (1990).
Originally given to George Muse
in return for military services, the site was traded in 1780 for a keg of
whiskey. The first house was built in 1791. Laid out in 1815 and named after
General Leonard Covington of Maryland, who died in the War of 1812. It began to
flourish as a trading centre due to the opening of the Covington - Georgetown
Turnpike in 1819 (originally in 1801 a ferry crossing and a tavern). In 1834 a
city charter was granted by State Legislature.
The 1st house built in Covington KY 1798
Laced to Cincinnati by seven
broad bridges spanning the Ohio River, Covington is an industrial town in its
own right. Its early days saw many German settlers who left their mark on the
city. Even the setting on the bank of the Ohio River is reminiscent of the
Rhine in Germany. Areas of the waterfront, have being restored and many
riverboat excursions leave from there. Greater Cincinnati Airport lies just
outside the town.
Main trades prevalent in and
around Covington include precision instruments, machine tools, electrical
equipment, iron & steel products, freight cars, brewing & distilling,
paper bags, stained glass, processed fruits, tobacco & meat packing, asphalt
Major points of interest are
the Suspension Bridge which was designed & built by John A. Roebling 1866,
crossing the 2nd and Court Sts to Cincinnati. It is the prototype of the
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The Carroll Chimes Bell Tower is a 100ft
tower featuring a hand played carillon and mechanical figures which portray the
legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The Roman Catholic Basilica of
the Assumption, built 1901, is styled after the Abbey of St Denis and the
Notre-Dame in Paris and has one of the largest stained glass windows in the
world and is the see of a Catholic Bishop.
The Thomas More College, built
1921, formally Villa Madonna College and University of Kentucky Northern
Community College is also based here. 1450 students are based at this liberal
arts college. It is reputed to have the worlds smallest chapel at Monte Casino,
seating 3 is situated on the campus.
Vent Haven Museum contains the
largest collection of ventriloquist figures and memorobilia, (555 figures).
Covington also has one of the worlds largest X ray equipment laboratories.
Other attractions are The
Latonia Race Track which was opened in 1883 and Carneal House built in 1815.
Devou Park is a municipal 550 wooded acres overlooking the Ohio River and
included in it's grounds is the Behringer-Crawford Archaeology Museum.
Latonia Race Track
Covington was the birthplace of Dan Carter Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts in America Movement and was designated a national historical landmark in 1965. It was also the birthplace of artist Frank Daveneuck and a museum is devoted to his paintings in the city.
USS Nightmare at Covington
Landing, 1 Madison Ave. A real Steamboat on the Ohio River. "We will scare
the ship out of you!". The Ohio River's only floating haunted riverboat.
Haunted by some of the river's most notorious spirits
Businesses in Covington which
appeared in Million Dollar Directory 1988 are Corporex Companies & Corporex
Constructors, Robert Dickman Co., First Federal Savings & Loan Association,
First National Bank, Huntington Bank Of Kenton County, R.A.Jones Co Inc,
Peoples Liberty Bank, Suburban Federal Savings & Loan Association, Toebben
Matth Construction Co, Union Light, Heat & Power Co, Wadsworth Electric
Manufacturing, Way-Lo Construction and William R. Zalla
Other local addresses of
interest at that time were:
- Kentucky Post, 421 Madison
- Filson Club Library, 118
W.Breckenridge, Louisville 40217.
- Kentucky Historical Society
Library, Box H, Frankfort 40601.
- Daughters of the Cincinnati,
953 Fifth Avenue, New York NY21.
- N. Kentucky Convention &
Visitors Bureau, Main Strasse Village, 605 Philadelphia St., 41011.
By 2021 the largest companies, according to www.glassdoor.com, were
Housing in Covington, Kentucky – a 1997 report by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Community Planning and Development
Celebrating its 180th year,
Covington, Kentucky, values its many residential and commercial structures that
have historic and/or architectural significance. However, its lower housing
prices and proximity to the expanding Cincinnati, Ohio, metropolitan area have
made Covington a densely populated city that has little room for growth.
Covington also must contend
with the challenges of increasing crime, deteriorating infrastructure, and
growing needs among its low-income residents.
The city's Consolidated Plan
has a budget of $2.3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds,
$506,000 in HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program funds, and $84,000 in
Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG).
As the lead agency responsible
for developing the Consolidated Plan, Covington's Housing Development
Department met with 26 city administrative departments, public and private
agencies, social service providers, civic organizations, special interest
groups, and individual citizens. Working in cooperation with the Housing
Authority of Covington (HAC), the Housing Development Department held a public
hearing so that citizens could comment on housing and community development
needs. In addition to publicizing the hearing in the Kentucky Post, the city
mailed announcements to approximately 700 citizens, including 500 public
HAC further encouraged citizen
participation by forming a Comprehensive Grant Program Partnership Process
Planning Group, which sponsored resident input meetings held at each of HAC's
Between 1980 and 1990, the population of Covington declined from 49,563 to 43,264. This decrease occurred primarily among the white population. In 1990 whites comprised 91 percent of the total population; African Americans comprised just under 8 percent; and other minorities comprised approximately 1 percent.
In 1990 more than one-third of
all households were very low-income. Among white households, the very-low
income were 36 percent, versus 66 percent of African-American households. More
than half of all households were low-income, earning less than 80 percent of
the median family income.
Housing & Community
Development Need 1990 - Conditions
The 1990 census indicated that
the elderly constitute the fastest growing population group in Covington.
During the past 4 years, the number of very low-income elderly households
increased by 78 percent.
The city's infrastructure is
deteriorating because of its age. Although a recent State law allowed the city
to relinquish ownership and maintenance of its sewers to the Kenton County
Sanitation District, a survey indicated that at least $3 million would be
needed to upgrade the sewer system to meet acceptable standards. Because much
of the city's public streets and sidewalks are older, they also need
The most significant
characteristic of Covington's housing stock is its age. More than 58 percent of
all housing units were built before 1939. Many units in the northern half of
the city are more than 100 years old. Although an abundant supply of homes is
available, the age of these homes often creates rehabilitation costs that are
higher than the actual purchase price.
The 1990 census reported that
9 percent of all units were vacant. The majority of these were rental units,
and 228 were owner occupied. Overall, 4 percent of the vacant units were
Although the southern half of
the city has been more recently developed, little land is available for new
construction. When the southernmost section of the city was annexed 20 years
ago, the ensuing rapid development was targeted to entry-level homebuyers who
could afford homes that cost between $70,000 and $80,000. Recent development in
this area has resulted in the construction of higher-priced homes that cost
between $100,000 and $150,000.
The cost of a single-family home varies throughout the city. Although the price for a home ranges from $20,000 to $300,000, the majority of homes cost between $40,000 and $65,000. The cost of rental housing also varies, with the median rent for one- and two-bedroom units ranging from $300 to $500 per month.
Affordable Housing Needs
The 1990 census reported that 15,506 housing units were occupied by very low- and low-income households. The city estimated that only 35 percent of their housing needs were being met.
Among rental units, median rents increased by an estimated 70 percent, while renters' median incomes increased by only 40 percent. Approximately 45 percent of renters and 22 percent of homeowners spent more than 25 percent of their income for housing. The city estimated that 73 percent of small-family renters had cost burdens, paying more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses. Furthermore, 343 large-family renter households and 1,072 elderly renter households had cost burdens, paying more than 30 percent for housing.
Many of the city's homeowners
are low- and very low-income elderly persons, who face increasing maintenance
burdens. Overall, 1,232 owner households had cost burdens, paying more than 30
percent for housing.
A 1993 survey identified 370
homeless persons within the city's jurisdiction. Of this number, 114 were
males; 119 were females; and 137 were children. The majority were white; 71
were African American; 6 were Hispanic; and 4 were Native American. In the special
needs category, 103 had alcohol or drug abuse problems; 72 were victims of
domestic violence; 22 had severe mental illness; and 4 had HIV/AIDS.
Covington has 13 agencies that
provide services to the homeless, including: Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Homeward
Bound Runaway Shelter, Storehouse Ministries, Transitions Inc., Welcome House,
Women's Crisis Center, Parish Kitchen, Interfaith Hospitality Network of
Northern Kentucky, Comprehensive Care Center of Northern Kentucky, Northern
Kentucky Housing and Homeless Coalition, Anawim Housing, Inc., Brighton Center,
Inc., and Be Concerned.
To provide the homeless with a
continuum of care, the city has enacted the following strategies:
- Establishing an interagency council to coordinate services, promote cooperation, and develop new ideas.
- Providing prevention and outreach services.
- Offering emergency services as the point of entry into a continuum of care.
- Providing transitional and permanent housing.
Public and Assisted Housing
HAC manages 963 public housing
units. Of these, 137 are studio units; 215 have one bedroom; 371 have two
bedrooms; 208 have three bedrooms; and 32 have 4 or more bedrooms. Currently,
53 of these units are vacant. HAC also operates 41 handicapped-accessible
Section 504 units.
Development Department administers the Section 8 program all of Kenton County,
which includes 1,075 assisted units. Of this number, 913 were tenant-based certificates;
117 were vouchers; and 45 were moderate rehabilitation units. The city does not
expect to lose any Section 8 units from the assisted housing inventory during
the 1995-1996 program year.
Located in the city are 1,060
other assisted units, including 766 Section 202 and Section 8 efficiency and
one-bedroom units reserved for the elderly. Another 55 units are one-bedroom
handicapped-accessible units. Currently, only 9 units are vacant.
Barriers to Affordable Housing
The city has identified the following
barriers to affordable housing:
- Economic and racial segregation.
- No interlocal cooperation.
- No private sector interest in affordable housing development.
- Exclusionary and restrictive land use controls.
- Little support for and awareness of special needs housing.
- Insufficient rental housing for families with children.
The 1990 census reported that
of 19,117 housing units, 12,833 contained lead-based paint. The highest
percentages of elevated blood-lead levels were found in the downtown area,
where most of the older housing stock was concentrated.
Between April 1, 1993, and
January 31, 1995, the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health
Department's blood screening program documented 3,513 cases of elevated blood-lead
The elderly constitute the
fastest growing population group in Covington. Senior Citizens of Northern
Kentucky estimates that 31 elderly persons in Covington need supportive housing
and that 25 of these are frail elderly. The United Way reports that more
affordable housing as well as repair and maintenance also are needed.
An estimated 160 persons in
Covington have long-term mental illnesses that create various housing problems.
In addition to housing problems associated with mental illness, these people
have housing problems because of their low incomes. Furthermore, these people
need some form of supportive services.
An estimated 50 persons are
physically disabled and need supportive housing. Currently, 104
handicapped-accessible units are available, and some agencies are providing
An estimated 140 to 150 individuals are developmentally disabled. Of this total, 112 require supportive services and cannot achieve self-sufficiency. The remaining 25 percent can achieve self-sufficiency but require supportive services to complete the transition to permanent housing.
Transitions, Inc., estimates that nearly 400 persons with substance abuse problems need supportive housing. The needs of this population include housing for children as well as treatment and counseling for adults.
The Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management Program reports that an estimated 10 persons with HIV/AIDS -- 25 percent of all non-homeless persons with HIV/AIDS -- need supportive housing services, ranging from minimum to total care.
Covington's Section 8 Program estimates that at least 575 low-income female-headed households would benefit from supportive housing, which would offer services, such as medical and child care, counseling, education, and job training.
Community Development Needs
Covington identifies the
following community development needs:
- Public facilities, including: neighborhood facilities, parks and recreation facilities, senior citizens centers, child-care centers, youth centers, and parking facilities.
- Infrastructure improvements, including: street and sewer improvements, sidewalk replacements, and maintenance of sewer laterals.
- Public services, including: social services for the elderly and youth, economic opportunities, tenant-landlord counseling, and crime awareness.
- Accessibility, including handicap ramps at curb and sidewalk intersections.
- Historic preservation of older buildings.
- Economic development, including new business creation and retention, with an emphasis on small businesses.
- Energy efficiency improvements, lead-based paint abatement, and code enforcement.
Housing & Community Development Strategy
the following housing priorities:
- Increased homeownership opportunities for extremely low-income households, particularly the elderly and families.
- Preservation of the current housing stock through various programs, such as the Owner-Occupancy Rehabilitation program, the Home Repair Program, and the Emergency Repair Program.
- Creation of new housing through the city's Urban Reclamation Program, which acquires vacant dilapidated buildings, rehabilitates them, and resells them.
- In-fill housing to create new housing units on vacant, city-owned land.
Covington identifies the
following community development priorities:
- Infrastructure improvements, including sewers, sidewalks, and streets.
- Public facilities, including centers for seniors and youth.
- Public services, including: social services
for the elderly; crime awareness programs; and social, educational, and
- recreational programs for youth.
- Economic development, including business start-up assistance for small- business maintenance and expansion.
To adequately meet the needs
of those persons living below the poverty level, Covington has implemented the
following antipoverty strategies:
- Section 8 subsidies.
- Homestead exemptions.
- "Are You OK" program for disabled and senior citizens.
- Ambulance service not limited to a person's ability to pay.
- A Landlord Tenant Law that protects both parties.
- Family Self-Sufficiency incentives to improve job skills and education.
- "Yes You Can ... Own A Home" homeownership training program.
Housing and Community
The Consolidated Plan uses
resources from many sectors, such as public agencies and departments as well as
nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Public service agencies include: the
Northern Kentucky Community Center, Covington Community Center, and the
Northern Kentucky Arts Council. These organizations use CDBG funds to expand
their fundraising capacities and to meet United Way or foundation funding
The HOME homebuyer assistance activity, which promotes homeownership among low- and moderate-income households, is possible only because local banks and savings and loan associations cooperate with the city to provide these prospective homeowners with mortgage loans.
State and local funds often
are used to complement city activities. City-sponsored recreational activities
are held in Covington Public School buildings after school and on weekends.
These facilities may be used free of charge because the city's general fund
absorbs the cost of staff employed by these programs.
Other essential nonprofit
organizations include: Northern Kentucky Association for the Retarded,
Interfaith Hospitality Council, Jacob's Well, Homeward Bound Runaway Shelter,
Storehouse Ministries, Parish Kitchen, Transitions, Inc., and Habitat for
Coordination of Strategic Plan
The city collaborates with HAC to implement the Consolidated Plan. The city and HAC have been co-applicants for several Drug Elimination Grants. These have resulted in the construction of a youth center next to the Jacob Price Homes .
Additional coordination is
accomplished through the city's close relationship with approximately a dozen
local non-profit social service providers. A wide range of services are
provided to senior citizens, youth, the homeless, and low- and moderate-income
citizens with special needs.
One Year Action Plan - Description of Key Projects
Covington will implement the
following key projects during the first year of the Consolidated Plan:
- Rehabilitation grants and deferred payment loans will offer a maximum of $22,000 to 40 low- and moderate-income homeowners to rehabilitate their homes. Also, special rehabilitation grants will be offered for residential and commercial projects approved by the city commission ($768,800).
- Home repair deferred payment loans and grants will offer a maximum of $6,500 to 37 very low-income homeowners for minor home repairs ($70,224).
- Emery Row and Eighth Street Project will rehabilitate 15 formerly vacant and blighted apartments ($285,000).
- Transitions, Inc., will provide tuckpoint, paint the exterior of a building, replace a parking lot, and install carpeting at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for women and their children ($27,052).
- A public improvements project will install curbs and sidewalks and will resurface streets and streetscaping in a targeted low-income neighborhood ($390,000).
- A small-business loan program will provide working capital, equipment, and financial assistance to 10 businesses in CDBG-targeted areas ($50,000).
- Real property acquisition, monitored by the Urban Reclamation Program's Vacant Properties Review Commission, will acquire 15 properties for economic development activities ($110,000).
- Northern Kentucky Arts Council project will rehabilitate the Carnegie Arts Center ($28,000).
- Mainstrasse public improvements project will develop the Mainstrasse Commons at 618 Main Street ($25,000).
- Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, a shelter for homeless women and children, will use funds for rehabilitation, operating costs, and medical and transportation services ($50,100).
- A rental rehabilitation project will renovate 8 units for low-income tenants ($80,000).
- Homebuyer assistance will help 12 to 15 low-income families to purchase housing ($170,000).
- Homeward Bound - Brighton Center will rehabilitate a shelter for runaway youth (25,500).
- Anticrime program will increase patrols in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods by paying the salaries of additional police officers ($115,547).
- A senior citizens meal program will offer
150 home-delivered and congregate daily meals for low-income senior
- citizens ($30,000).
Covington identifies the following housing goals during the next 5 years:
- Rehabilitation of 190 owner-occupied units and 100 rental units.
- Repairs on 185 housing units.
- Emergency repairs on 240 housing units.
- Acquisition of 60 vacant buildings for
rehabilitation, with 20 being converted into owner-occupied housing and 15
- being converted into rental units.
- Acquisition of 40 vacant lots for in-fill housing.
- Assistance for 2,675 families that are on the waiting list for public housing. (Of these, 1,500 are on the Section 8 program waiting list, and 1,175 are on the public housing list).
Some old pictures of Covington Kentucky
Some old pictures of Covington Kentucky
Fire Station,Covington KY
Issued by The First National Bank of Covington KY
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