LEXINGTON, Ky. — Affordable housing is a concern in Fayette County. It’s also an issue that Mayor Linda Gorton has distributed more than $350 million to since 2014. 

What You Need To Know

  • The mayor says one of the top concerns in Lexington is affordable housing

  • The city has distributed more than $350 million to affordable housing since 2014

  • The proposed budget includes three funds for affordable housing

  • Nonprofits like Fayette Alliance believes these proposals would be critical to the community

Affordable housing has been an issue long before the pandemic.

“We know that we can’t control interest rates. We know that we can’t control the rising cost of construction. And so there are a lot of those kinds of things that are out of our control and we’ve seen this across the country,” Gorton said.

And it’s one concern that Gorton is working to ease with three different funds in her proposed budget.

“This is a great shot in the arm to our affordable housing program,” Gorton said.

The funds include the Infrastructure Investment Fund, Affordable Housing Fund and Lexington Neighborhood Investment. Gorton proposes that over 6 million dollars be distributed between the three programs. 

“It’s just a different way of adding to our toolkit for affordable homes,” Gorton said.

Investments Brittany Roethemeier, executive director of Fayette Alliance, said are critical to the affordable housing issue. 

“These funds can truly help us be innovative and think about how we can address the shortages we have between development,” Roethemeier said.

Fayette Alliance is a nonprofit in Lexington that uses research within the community to educate and create policies to create sustainable living within Fayette county.

“We focus specifically on land use policy and our belief has always been that planning and zoning policies are really the building blocks for our community and housing is an enormous piece of that,” Roethemeier said.

According to Realtor.com, the median sale price for a home in Lexington is at $270,000, and if these proposed budgets get approved, the Lexington Neighborhood Investment would supply nonprofits with funds to buy and upgrade abandoned properties to turn into affordable housing. 

“Like vacant large parking lots, underutilized commercial areas, and redevelopment that can really be used as something better to meet our needs,” Roethemeier said.

A concern Gorton and nonprofits like Fayette Alliance say will be an ongoing issue, but one Gorton hopes to provide some relief for in the upcoming year. 

Since 2014, the affordable housing fund alongside the city has been able to provide and create nearly 3,000 units of affordable housing for residents in Fayette County.