Hundreds on waitlist for housing voucher program in Lexington

Hundreds on waitlist for housing voucher program in Lexington
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 9:25 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Hundreds of people in Lexington are on a waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher Program with the Lexington Housing Authority.

Roughly 4,000 people benefit from the federally funded and mandated program, which assists families with rent.

LHA pays out around $2 million a month in rent to about 700 landlords who have agreed to accept tenants who use the voucher program.

Once a lease ends, the housing authority stops paying their share, but does give the tenant 60 days to find another landlord that will accept the program.

The tenant can apply for two 30-day extensions, essentially giving them 120 days to find a new place. After that, they will lose the voucher, which would go to one of the 800 people on the LHA’s waitlist for the voucher.

“People say this program in Lexington doesn’t work, well yes it does work. We’re spending millions of dollars every month in this city, to pay landlords, who in turn can pay their mortgage, they can pay their taxes,” said Austin Simms, the executive director of the Lexington Housing Authority.

“There’s always a need for affordable housing, we probably get maybe 10 or 15 phone calls weekly wanting to apply on the waiting list,” said Aldean Pleasant, the Housing Choice Voucher manager.

The last time the housing authority opened applications for the voucher waiting list was 2018.

More than 3,000 people applied in five days.

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