Lexington city leaders are moving forward with efforts to fund affordable housing. The city is spending $3 million this fiscal year toward developing affordable units.
The council Tuesday gave first approval for setting aside $2 million in the next budget.
The nonprofit organization Building a United Interfaith Lexington Through Direct Action, has lobbied for more affordable housing. BUILD Co-Chair Adam Jones told council he's concerned about flexibility in rent costs. "What your proposing right now would permit the whole affordable housing fund conceivably to be used to charge rents of over $1,000, if there's no criteria. That might be affordable, but for who?" asked Jones.
Former Kentucky Housing Corporation Administrator Rick McQuady is the first director of Lexington's newly established Office of Affordable Housing. He says it's important to carefully consider how to spend affordable housing dollars. "I think given the discussion inside, I think it's very vital that we be very prudent in how we use this resource because there is no guarantee of future funding. So, therefore, we have to do what's right for the community and make the best impact that we possibly can for the people who need this housing," said McQuady.
Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen says he'd like to see affordable housing funds used for new construction and rehabilitation of existing spaces.