Mayor Gorton’s proposed budget includes over $2 million for affordable housing

Mayor Gorton’s proposed budget includes over $2 million for affordable housing
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We are breaking down the new budget proposal laid out by Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.

The $505 million proposal includes money for public safety, infrastructure and park projects. It also aims to set aside money to focus on affordable housing in the city.

The affordable housing office has been leveraging funding to build new developments, as well as fix existing units.

“This fund started in 2014, and since that time, we have developed 3,082 units, either new or rehabbed, reserved as affordable housing,” said Housing Advocacy and Community Development Commissioner Charlie Lanter. “We have 800 units under construction right now that will all open sometime over the course of this year.”

The proposal would allocate $2 million for affordable housing, which is on top of the $13.1 million in the American Rescue Plan funds.

For Ginny Ramsey at the Catholic Action Center, she says it still won’t fix the homeless population.

“The same is not enough,” Ramsey said. “We’ve got too many people that are left out of the systems. We’ve got to stand up and speak for them.”

For the Division of Community and Resident Services, the budget included a 33% increase in rent and utility assistance for low-income residents.

“Affordable housing runs the gambit. Some of it is for people experiencing homelessness and they’re coming out of that homelessness. Still, some of it is for people who have good jobs and need a little extra help because their jobs are not paying enough to pay market rent, and so we’re able to help them out with rent that’s a little more subsidized and affordable,” said Lanter.

Lanter says having a safe and affordable place to live will help improve the overall quality of the community.

The proposal also adds an assistant manager position for the affordable housing office. They will also upgrade a position in code enforcement to affordable housing specialist.