Lexington’s Housing Stabilization Program will offer additional housing stability services as the pandemic and the unprecedented emergency federal funding for housing end.
“This change lets us focus the federal dollars we have left on helping those at greatest risk of housing instability,” said Mayor Linda Gorton.
New services will include legal counsel for tenants, application fee assistance, and intensive case management for families experiencing continued financial difficulty.
“The Housing Stabilization Program has helped thousands of households remain housed through the worst of the pandemic, and now we’re ready to shift the focus toward those who remain vulnerable by offering additional supports,” said Charlie Lanter, Commissioner for Housing Advocacy & Community Development. “The unprecedented federal funding the city has received over the past two years is a finite resource, and we need to make the best possible use of remaining funds to ensure we remain able to help the most vulnerable tenants into the future.”
Beginning Monday, January 30, new rental assistance applications will be initiated automatically for tenants with an active eviction case in Fayette District Court or by referral from a partner agency serving vulnerable populations, such as domestic violence victims.
The program will no longer provide emergency utility assistance, and will begin referring residents in need of utility assistance to other programs, such as the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program currently operating at Community Action Council.
In the next few days, the city will issue a Request for Proposals for Housing Stability Services to include new and expanded activities that increase access to legal counsel for tenants, provide housing navigation and/or intensive case management, mediation services in eviction court, and more. These services will expand the infrastructure in place to help tenants who fall behind on their rent while the program continues to provide rental assistance for those facing eviction cases in court.
These changes will not apply to applications submitted prior to January 30 – any tenant with a pending application for assistance prior to this change will have their application processed under the previous program guidelines.