City offering rent assistance for those in need

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Landlords and the Catholic Action Center want to make people aware financial help from the city is readily available to renters. The Catholic Action Center is equipped to help renters go online to apply for this financial assistance.

“There is no reason any tenant, anybody, should lose their home,” says Jim McKenzie, president of the Lexington Landlord Association. “All they have to do: communication, communication, communication. Reach out to that property manager, reach out to that landlord because the last thing we wanna do is have an empty apartment and have somebody leave.”

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For the past 17 months, Kentucky has followed the CDC’s eviction moratorium. This ban on financial eviction will be lifted July 31st.

While the eviction ban significantly cut down on evictions throughout the pandemic, court data shows it did not halt them entirely. Courts say for the past five weeks, there have been an average of 40 evictions a week in Lexington.

Ginny Ramsey, director and co-founder of the Catholic Action Center, says these evictions during the moratorium are happening for reasons like leases being expired. McKenzie says evictions for non-financial reasons aren’t new and will continue to always be there.

The Catholic Action Center says it understands patience is low and asks landlords hold off on evicting when the ban is lifted.

“I think the majority would like to keep their tenants in their homes and also receive the rental assistance,” says Brenda Wells, executive director of the Greater Lexington Apartment Association. “They can get 12 months in the arrears on rental assistance and 3 months ahead, but if they evict them they get nothing.”

According to the Catholic Action Center on Tuesday, $26 million is left to be allocated to those in need. To get in touch with the Catholic Action Center about applying for rent assistance, leave a message at (502)783-7211 and someone will call you back with more information. The city also has a help line available at (859)280-8424.