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Rent increases leave many in Lexington area struggling to find somewhere to live

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With rent going up, Central Kentuckians are having a harder time finding somewhere to live.

Danielle Dominique has been looking for a place to stay since March. She asked WKYT to not use her last name or show her face.

“We’ve just been in a rocky place financially, physically,” she said.

Danielle said her family was forced to leave their last residence because the landlord would not renew the lease. She claimed the landlord used a loophole in the moratorium on evictions in Lexington.

Danielle quit her job in December over COVID-19 concerns. She told WKYT when her partner was incarcerated shortly after, it left her and their four children without a home.

“I applied for Section 8 [housing], which I’ve never had or done in my life. I was like, ‘Lord, what are you trying to teach me in this season?’”

Danielle was approved for housing in London and Lexington, but places were booked up. She also applied for Lexington’s Housing Stabilization Program.

“They were like, ‘We can help you get a place if you can find a place in 30 days, we can help pay for the first month’s deposit.’ Again, [we’re] back to the same scenario. The moratorium is still in place. There’s nothing available,” she said.

Danielle and her children have been living with her mom. They’re surviving off of a child tax credit. Still, Danielle says, it’s hard to find somewhere to say because rent prices are so high.

“It appears to be affecting all areas of the country,” said Brenda Wells, the executive director of the Greater Lexington Apartment Association.

Landlords are raising the rent to keep up with maintenance costs like appliances, insurance, and carpet, Wells said.

Danielle told WKYT she’s been applying for jobs but hasn’t had any luck. She said she’s worried about how to make ends meet but is relying on faith to make it through.

“At the end of the day I’m like, God, we don’t have our own home right now but we still have a roof over our head, clothes, shoes, so I try to be thankful, grateful for what He’s given us.”

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