Lexington resident on rising rent: “There is literally nowhere for us to move”

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People across Lexington may have noticed rent is getting pricier.

City officials say this is a positive but explain it can be hard to balance growth with living costs.

Pamela Morel, a current Lexington resident with two young kids, says she’s been looking for a new place to live since the start of the pandemic.

“Fayette County, I’ve looked in Clark, Jessamine, Woodford, there’s nowhere,” Morel says.

Morel says homes are not turning over often, and when they are…

“They’re barely getting them cleaned before other people move in,” Morel says.

Morel checks online daily for listings, but she says her Section 8 voucher isn’t cutting it with increasing prices.

“Then the places you can find, I wouldn’t recommend anyone live in, and I don’t know Section 8 probably wouldn’t pass those, so there is literally nowhere for us to move, nowhere for anyone to move,” Morel says.

The Greater Lexington Apartment Association reports a 4.7% increase after the first quarter of 2021. They say the pandemic has played a part in this, but so has increased demand. It’s a trend Mayor Linda Gorton says we see nationwide.

But many, like Morel, say it’s turned into a daily struggle searching for options.

“There are gonna be a whole lot of people at the Governor’s and Senators’ doorstep because we’re all homeless,” Morel says. “I mean, I’ll show up with my kids with pillows and blankets; I don’t know, I don’t know what to tell them.”

The eviction moratorium, which protects renters who can’t pay because of the pandemic, is scheduled to end on July 31.

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