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CAC taking over housing, rent assistance effort; millions still available

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Mayor, Governor announce transition of Housing Stabilization to Community Action Council; $11 million doled out so far

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mayor Linda Gorton and Governor Andy Beshear announced Wednesday the transition of Lexington’s Housing Stabilization Program to management by the Community Action Council.

“Over the past year there have been as many as 70 City and Community Action Council staff members working very hard to help those requesting assistance with rent and utilities,” Gorton said. “As a result, the program has helped approximately 1,600 households. This program has been so important at a time when many lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19. I am confident Community Action Council will continue the success of the program into the future. We are so thankful for their expertise in this field, as well as the funding support we have received from the state.”

“The Housing Stabilization Program is a great example of what can be accomplished when state and local government work together with Community Action Agencies. The Community Action Council has been steadfast in its commitment to helping Kentuckians make it through this pandemic, and I am proud they will continue to help those in need by taking on an expanded role in this essential program in Lexington,” Beshear added.

The Housing Stabilization Program first started in September 2020 with an investment of $1.4 million from the City’s General Fund. The federal government has provided $17.3 million in support and an additional $11.7 million was provided by the state. In all, the program has received $30.4 million in support. Of that, over $11 million in rental and utility assistance payments have been distributed.

“We have been a key partner in Lexington’s Housing Stabilization program for the last year, and my team of 27 staff members is ready to lead this large effort,” said Sharon Price, Executive Director of Community Action Council. “I am focused on getting the available funding out to our neighbors as quickly as possible, but along with that, my team will be working to identify and respond to other needs individuals and families may have, such as early childhood education, food access, or utility assistance. Our ability to leverage resources is the reason why Community Action Council is in the best position to implement this program; this is what we were created for back in 1965.”

Since the CDC eviction moratorium ended earlier this year, actual evictions have remained below pre-pandemic levels, partly due to the work of the Housing Stabilization Program.

Officials from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Department of the Treasury have requested a meeting with the local Housing Stabilization Program team to gather information about the success of the Lexington program and identify best practices to help other programs across the country.

Those needing assistance through the Housing Stabilization Program can find resources by visiting www.covid19renterhelp.org, calling Community Action Council at 859-280-8424, or emailing housingstabilization@lexingtonky.gov.





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