Lexington officials announce new voucher program to help end homelessness

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Lexington took another step toward ending homelessness on Thursday.

Mayor Linda Gorton announced 76 new federally funded Emergency Housing Vouchers:

“Over a period of many years, Lexington has worked hard to put a roof over the heads of people who are experiencing homelessness, and we have had considerable success,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “Today’s announcement will get us close to our goal of effectively eliminating homelessness, and bring much-needed long-term stabilization to families hit hard by the pandemic.”

Housing Authority Executive Director Austin Simms said, when compared to larger cities, Lexington was pleased with the number of vouchers it received.

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“The Housing Authority is excited about and appreciative that we have received these 76 vouchers to support our desire to end homelessness in Lexington. We’ve put HUD on notice that if for any reason they have unused vouchers, we will be happy to accept them,” Simms said. “This collaborative effort among the Housing Authority, City government and social services support agencies is indicative of the possibilities that exist when we work together.”

Emergency Housing Vouchers are tenant-based rental assistance vouchers designed to:

  • Assist individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness;
  • Help those who are at risk of experiencing homelessness;
  • Provide a safe place for those who are fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking;
  • Or help people who recently became homeless or who are at a high risk of housing instability, and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness.

“I’m ecstatic that the hard work and dedication of our community partners to end family homelessness is becoming a reality,” said Polly Ruddick, Director of the City’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. “The Housing Authority is doing tremendous work to provide permanent housing to those who need it most. We will continue to work together to serve those most in need with effective and efficient services.”

Ruddick’s office will make voucher referrals via the Lexington-Fayette County Continuum of Care Coordinated Entry list, and will work closely with the Housing Authority and community partners to ensure ongoing supportive services.

Vouchers will be prioritized based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, housing status, household composition and health conditions.

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