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Lexington council panel briefed on housing stability services

Stu Johnson

Efforts to lower evictions in Lexington have taken on a different look the last year or so. It happened after federal rental assistance dollars tied to the COVID pandemic were exhausted. Lexington Council members got an update on housing stability services earlier this week. Housing Policy Advisor Jonathan Wright said the number of eviction warrants has stayed low as compared to before the pandemic. Wright said it is the lowest of the years examined from 2019 to 2024.

“Some of those numbers you might now think…you know what’s the difference between a judgement in 56% of cases and a judgement in 41% of cases from 2019 to 2022. Bigger than you might think. That’s 11 hundred families that were able to stay in their home,” said Wright.

Wright said Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and the Kentucky Equal Justice Center both play key roles in providing housing stability services. Those include expanded access to counsel for tenants in eviction court and housing counseling and navigation.

Lexington city leaders were also briefed on work underway to help homeless school children and their families find permanent housing. Wright spoke about how Goodwill is working with the Fayette County Public Schools in assisting families with children in school.

“Almost all of the families, maybe all, are several steps away from being ready to make that transition. Most commonly improving the parents’ employment situation,” said Wright.

Goodwill works with local leaders of the McKinney Vento program. That’s a federal act providing money for homeless shelter programs and other services.

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