LEXINGTON, Ky. — Community members concerned about rising rent and affordable housing are taking their concerns about conditions to the city’s leaders.

What You Need To Know

  • Renters and others in Lexington rallied for change in protective measures in the city

  • Kentucky Tenants, an advocate group for renters, marched for awareness and a “tenant’s bill of rights” that protects housing stabilization

  • Young volunteers are helping support the organization as they take their concerns to Lexington’s urban city council

  • Some of those concerns include living conditions, income-based rent fees and more

Marching for change, a group advocating for renters around the state took their concerns about housing in Lexington right to the steps of city hall.

Leading the group of the bluegrass organization, Kentucky Tenants, is organizer Beau Revlett.

He and several individuals shared their experiences that have led the group to push for a tenant’s bill of rights.

“We’ve all had problems with our landlords, with making rent or conditions in our homes,” Revlett said. “So we are here to share our stories and create a better—a positive impact on our community.”

Asan Gatewood Parks says he encourages kids living in these conditions to stay positive knowing there are people like her and his mom, who want to help. (Spectrum News 1/Sabriel Metcalf)

Several individuals spoke of conditions like black mold, heating issues in the winter and problems with income-based rates. They say something has to be done to protect vulnerable renters.

Sharing her complications is the NAACP housing chair and Kentucky tenant volunteer Davita Gatewood. She said now more than ever would the bill make a difference for kids like her own.

“I think a lot of times landlords don’t take into account families, especially moms who have kids, how it affects the children. Us as parents, we are trying to diligently find affordable housing, which in Lexington is few and far between and it does affect the children.” Gatewood explained. 

Her son, 15-year-old Asan Gatewood-Parks, is helping bring attention to the youth dealing with housing issues. He says teens should enjoy being young. 

“At our age, we should be focused on school, living a teenage life. Not focused on adult things.” Gatewood-Parks said.

Revlett says with winter approaching, change is needed. “We’ve got a long winter ahead of us and if we don’t take action, people are going to be suffering through winter in the cold, so we need action now,” he said.

Along with the tenant’s bill of rights, the council heard public comments regarding the future of flock cameras in the city. Kentucky Tenants plans to continue efforts for housing stabilization and more into the new year.