Lexington Mayor Trying To Help Homeless

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 2/20/2013 7:23 pm
One Lexington veteran could become a statistic soon.

"I'll be homeless once my lease is up," said the man, who didn't want to be identified.

A 2012 study by the Central Housing and Homeless Initiative showed at least 13 hundred homeless individuals living in Lexington.

Mayor Jim Gray's Homelessness Commission was working to manage that condition by creating an office.

That office--which commission chairs said would gather comprehensive data, administer funds for affordable housing, and provide more services--would also create a tax increase.

The normal five percent tax on insurance premiums (not including health insurance) would rise to six percent, creating an extra $4 million for the office.

Some oppose the tax increase. Isaac Lawrence, a landlord in Lexington, said there was a "rush to get this passed without the average citizen or businessman knowing it was on the docket."

But Mayor Jim Gray said, "We hope to have better results--that's what this is about."

The near-homeless vet lost his wife three years ago. After that, he moved into the apartment he was living in as of Wednesday--but because of rising costs, he'll have to move again.

However, he declared bankruptcy in 2012. Many of the renters he spoke to told him his credit wasn't good enough.

"I've never been homeless...and that's what I'm facing," he said.

He said he doesn't know what the next step will be...but hopes it doesn't lead down the road to the homeless shelter.

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