LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington and eight partner agencies will start at least talking though the application process with residents who may need rent, food or other assistance because of the coronavirus.
The Lexington Fayette County Urban Council approved a $1.9 million housing assistance program at its meeting Thursday night. Much of the program will be handled through the eight partner agencies.
The plan calls for the city to partner with eight non-profits on managing applications for up to $4,000 in rent or moving help per family (see some details rent plan )
That comes on top of a separate program — RISE — started three weeks for up to $2,000 for families in the service industry impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. That program has $500,000 available to help 250 families.
The system is designed to prevent people from double-dipping with local programs or the state program.
It also involves landlords directly.
The city already has more than 2,000 names on a list from sign ups that begin on a rental assistance web site in June. The average need among those families is about $2,500, said city Social Service Commissioner Chris Ford.
For information on the program, go to: https://covid19renterhelp.org
or call the Community Action Council or one of the eight agencies:
Step by Step Single Mothers
AVOL Medically Vulnerable
GreenHouse17 DV Victims
The Nest Families
New Life Day Center
Community Action Council
People who are evicted for reasons other than not paying rent aren’t eligible.
The program comes as the Centers for Disease Control has imposed a nationwide ban on many evictions through the end of the year.
“We still need to get money in people’s hands to get this process moving along. We can’t let them keep building up overdue rent,” said Lexington Social Services Commissioner Chris Ford.
The same goes for landlords who also are shouldering a financial burden.
“Many of these landlords are involved in our affordable housing programs. We don’t need them to fold or get out. We need to be able to address both sides of the equation,” Ford added.
Ford suggested residents who need assistance to reach out to one of the eight partner agencies or call the 311, the city’s information services, and ask for either social services or homeless prevention.
Mayor Linda Gorton has recommended spending as much as $3 million in the effort. That, along with some other proposals, will be discussed later this month.
The state announced a $15 million assistance pool ad other guidelines Monday. The web site to apply will open Sept. 8. The city expects some of its program to dovetail into the state program.
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