Challenges continue for Lexington family facing homelessness

For more than 8 months, Davita Gatewood has been trying to secure a safe, affordable home for her family.
Affordable Housing Now

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- The struggles continue for one family, who have been fighting for affordable housing for months.

Davita Gatewood’s lease was expected to end in May, but over the summer, her landlord granted her an extension on her lease through September 1st.

For more than 8 months, Davita Gatewood has been trying to secure a safe, affordable home for her family before her housing choice voucher ends Monday, August 15th.

“Finally, we’re able to secure a very nice safe, affordable option for our family,” said Gatewood.

Gatewood also found a landlord willing to accept her housing voucher. She found a home not far from family members, where she can have the support she needs for her and her six children.

“It would be a better support system, being close to family,” said Asan Gatewood Parks, Davita’s son.

“The paper work was signed, everything was ready to go. We did what was asked of us and required,” said Gatewood.

But now she’s facing another challenge, this time with the Lexington Housing Authority. The LHA is the office that oversees the city’s affordable housing and section 8 vouchers.
She says the office is refusing to extend her voucher.

“The organizations that are supposed to be helping your family and the betterment of your family is the same organization that’s impeding your progress,” said Gatewood.

ABC 36 reached out to some of the Lexington Housing Authority directors for comment, but have not heard back.

“This is something that many tenants of the Housing Authority have had various kinds of problems with them. And it speaks to a larger issue of governance at the housing authority. Tenants and renters are not on the boards,” said Beau Revlett of KY Tenants. The organization helps advocate and support tenants who are facing issues with their landlords.

Last month, Revlett and Gatewood went to Washington D.C. to advocate for better tenant protections. They spoke with the Biden Administration and other federal agencies. Their goal is to get lawmakers to push policies that would help tenants across the nation.

Gatewood is now calling on Lexington’s city leaders to do more to help families like hers.

“You do the work, you pound the pavement, work with real estate agents, work with family, friends, and look in the community, go look at houses, check listings from January to present day. And when you find what you need, and what you’re told to find. Then its another obstacle thrown in your path,” said Gatewood.

Gatewood says its’ a fight she’s not giving up.

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