Proposed ‘Housing Advocacy Department’ would address all housing needs in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) – The Lexington Housing Justice Collective fights to end homelessness and incite change when it comes to housing issues.

Beau Revlett with the organization says that thousands of renters are affected everyday by unaffordable housing and eviction.

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He says they do what they can to fight for those tenants but that change is urgent in the urban county government.

“I talk to people everyday who are facing eviction, I have people who are close to me that struggle to pay their rent every month and this is a very common story in Lexington” said Revlett.
Revlett adds that current rental and eviction issues need to be addressed and solved, by adding more money to the affordable housing budget.

He’s hoping a new proposal by Mayor Gorton to create a ‘Housing Advocacy and Community Development’ department will help, though he says it’s still not enough.

“The problem is that there’s just not enough, the eviction problem is so large that just adding one or two new staff people isn’t going to help it.”

The proposal comes from the Mayor’s commission for racial justice and equality.

It comes after recommendations were made by the Housing and Gentrification Commission to keep housing affordable and re-imagine the protection of renters.

“If you want to talk about an overall goal is we build strong equitable neighborhoods and that will improve the quality of life for Lexington citizens” said Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.

Mayor Gorton says that the new department would combine the office of homelessness and office of affordable housing, along with four other divisions.

She says that the City currently has a couple million dollars available to help with rental assistance, evictions and other housing needs, but that the main problem is that renters don’t know where to go for that help.

She says the combination of the offices inside the department would fix that.

“It’s about helping our citizens understand where they can go if they have housing issues whether its homelessness or rental assistance or a planning issue” she said.

Mayor Gorton is set to present the proposal to council in April.

If approved it would take effect July 1st.