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Workshop held in Lexington on affordable housing, tenants’ rights

The affordable housing crisis is forcing many families out of their homes in Lexington, simply because it now costs too much to live there.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The affordable housing crisis is forcing many families out of their homes in Lexington, simply because it now costs too much to live there.

One mother we talked to is facing eviction at the end of the month and said she can’t find a place for her and her children.

A workshop Wednesday night hopefully gave her some answers to help. Lexington’s Community and Resident Services hosted a tenant’s rights workshop to educate about fair housing, legal aid, and what your rights are when it comes to housing.

Davita Gatewood sat in a classroom learning her options as she faces eviction in less than two weeks.

“We were given a non-renewal at the end of December by my landlord, who wants to renovate and sell our home. We’ve been in our home for almost five years. It was kind of devastating. It’s still devastating,” Gatewood said.

For more than four months, Gatewood has been looking for affordable housing, but hasn’t had any luck. Help from the Lexington Tenant Union has helped her delay the eviction, but now she’s out of time.

“It’s not for us not looking, we’ve diligently been looking. We’ve been working with other organizations. The housing is not out there. It’s not affordable,” Gatewood said.

On Monday, Gatewood was part of a rally standing against evictions and pushing more affordable housing. Just two days later she was at this workshop for tenants to learn their rights and options, hoping to connect with someone who can help her family.

“It’s very discouraging. It’s depressing. It just gives you a very bleak outlook,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood is sharing her story, knowing there are many others like her family’s, and hoping they can all be helped.

“We’re putting a face to it because we know other people in the community are dealing with the same thing. We want them to know there are people who will stand with you in solidarity, and help you out of your situation,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood does qualify for Section 8 housing, however, she has had trouble finding places that will accept it. A housing advocate at the workshop told her while it is considered discrimination, there is no ordinance against it in Lexington. He said there is one in Louisville.

If you’re facing challenges with affordable housing, you can click this link for information.

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