Federal funding for rental assistance to run out next week

This is money from the pandemic response program launched in early 2021.
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:01 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On Monday, November 27, federal funds designated for rental and utility assistance will run out.

This is money from the pandemic response program launched in early 2021.

The funds were never meant to be permanent. Its purpose was to financially assist the landlords and the tenants who were struggling from the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charlie Lanter, the Commissioner of Housing Advocacy and Community Development for the City of Lexington, says they made it very clear when the funds would dry up and tried to prepare all the service providers and elected officials that this date was coming.

He says the $52 million program helped 7,00 households.

He has a message for those who could have benefited from this program:

“So if you have rent due December 1, you need to be making plans now on how to pay that and don’t assume if you have a judgment filed against you in court that the program will be there because the program right now only operates in court.”

Catholic Action Center Director Ginny Ramsey told us she knew the money would eventually run out but didn’t know the end date would come this soon.

“To happen this quickly and at this time of year is very concerning when there are so many evictions taking place,” said Ramsey.

Ramsey’s concern is for the Fayette County school children who are currently without a home, and that number could increase now that the money for rental assistance is gone.

“It’s worse than being saddened. I’m really fearful for so many of these families.”

For now, Ramsey suggests the city spend $3 million to help fill in the financial gap.

She says the emphasis should be on families with children and the elderly.

“To create more homelessness by simply not having the stop-gap measures that we all come to expect, what can I say,” said Ramsey.

“It is fair to say that without this program, there will likely be more evictions,” said Lanter. “There will be people who struggle because there is less help out there.”