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Lexington city council puts more money into housing stability effort

Lexington City Council work session 8-16-22
Stu Johnson
Lexington City Council work session 8-16-22

Officials say the societal effects of the coronavirus pandemic are less prominent these days, compared to even a year ago. There remain day-to-day challenges.

One of those areas is housing stability. Lexington has received more than $40 million in federal funding that can go for rent and utility assistance. Jonathan Wright is project director for the Housing Stabilization Program. Wright said there is a reallocation process at the federal level, so the hope is to keep funding the program for the foreseeable future.

“I think the message is we don’t want people to be nervous that the program is about to come to an abrupt end, cause we don’t believe that it is,” said Wright.

Wright said the city is still seeing quite a bit of demand for housing assistance. Community Action Council took over the distribution of aid last October. Prior to that the city and Community Action had shared that responsibility.

The Lexington City Council is backing the movement of just over three million dollars in federal COVID dollars into the housing stabilization program. The funds can go for rent and utility assistance. Jonathan Wright noted evictions are still occurring, but not at an increased rate.

“The number of tenants who are actually being evicted…receiving judgments in court…sort of being involuntarily displaced from their home is still down from pre-pandemic levels,” said Wright.

So, Wright said the help has been of benefit during this time of COVID. helped. He added many landlords continue to work with the city.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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