Groups rally for affordable housing in Lexington ahead of primary

One family, who uses a section 8 voucher, says it was given a notice to vacate by May 31

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- On the eve of primary election day, several people attended a rally for affordable housing, which has been a hot button issue for families in Fayette County.

“We deserve better and like the prices are not affordable and it doesnt make sense to me,” said Asan Parks.

Parks is a 9th grader in Fayette County Public Schools. His mother, Davita Gatewood says their family is on the verge of being evicted from their home.

“I’ve made a lot of friends this school year and i feel like if we do move, and if its like far, then I wouldn’t get to see them as much,” said Parks.

Davita says she’s trying to stay positive for her children.

“But the reality is I don’t know,” said Davita.

The family says they were given a notice to vacate by May 31st. Davita uses a Section 8 voucher- a program designed to help low income families with their rent.
The problem is she hasnt been able to find another place willing to accept the voucher.

“I have no issue with moving, but I have to have somewhere to move to,” Gatewood said. “Bt many of these landlords don’t care about people. They just care about money and this market. And people are being forced out of their homes every day.”

Groups like the Lexington Tenants Union want that to change.

“I’d like to see the city talk about building more than just new affordable housing units,” said Andrea Yang of the Lexington Tenants Union. “I’d like to see them talk to landlords about why they’re raising rent, about why they’re not taking section 8. I think its a conversation we should have with landlords because as tenants, we can only do so much. >

Right now, city council’s considering a budget proposal that would direct millions in Federal American Rescue Plan dollars to go towards homeless and affordable housing resources. Another $2 million is earmarked to an affordable housing fund.

Despite those efforts, Davita says families like hers need help, now.

“There are apartments being built but theyre not for families,” Davita said. “Theyre for one or two bedrooms. There’s nothing I can do with that. There’s nothing a lot of families can do with one or two bedrooms.”

The groups are encouraging people to go vote during Tuesday’s primary.

For more information about the Lexington Tenants Union, click here.

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