Tenants, organizers, and a lawyer with Lexington Housing Justice Collective are meeting with Mayor Linda Gorton and staff to urge her to stop all evictions in Fayette County.
BREAKING: This morning, Lexington protestors disrupted eviction court! Several protesters joined Judge Bell's online court today and interrupted proceedings throughout the hour and a half meeting.
Available rental assistance in Lexington totals just over $1.9 million. The average household recipient receives over $1,700 from the city funds. This means that available city funds are likely to serve under 1,200 people. However, as of November 4, the city had already received 3,400 intakes into its rental assistance program—and over 90% of people who apply are eligible. That means that 2,000 Lexingtonians who are eligible to receive rental assistance and applied will receive no money because the city does not have enough funds—compared to only 1,200 who will receive funds. How does Mayor Gorton respond to this underfunding of eviction prevention? BY CUTTING THE PROGRAM MORE. That ain’t right.
Since evictions for non-payment resumed August 24, there have been over 1,000 eviction hearings in Lexington. While some tenants had their cases delayed until January by the CDC's moratorium, the majority of tenants were not at court--which means they likely received default eviction judgments against them.
Are you a Kentucky tenant facing eviction? Not facing eviction, but want to fight to stop mass evictions and get Governor Andy Beshear to #CancelRent? Join the Kentucky Anti-Eviction Network, a joint project of Root Cause Research Center, People's Action and Unemployed Workers United
Eviction court in Fayette County is going virtual. Mass evictions have been ongoing for months. They will only get worse.
Dear members of the Housing and Gentrification Subcommittee, We understand that you are now developing your recommendations to the Mayor. As you do so, eviction court is on the verge of executing mass evictions. Next Monday, August 24, 51 people are scheduled to face eviction in court. The following two weeks, around 300 people face eviction.
Mayor Gorton and the members of Lexington's city council can create a housing system where everyone has access to safe, accessible, permanently affordable, and sustainable housing. They can reduce the number of evictions Lexingtonians face.
The housing system in the US, and especially in Kentucky, prioritizes landlords’ profit over tenants’ need for shelter. In the past week in Kentucky, a mayor ordered a hotel not to rent rooms to paying homeless customers, and a constable tried to collaborate with landlords to pressure tenants out of their homes despite the state’s moratorium on evictions.
This is the opposite of what we need right now. Tenants need protection from being forced out of their homes, help with paying rent, and assurance that no one will be evicted due to non-payment that occurred during the state of emergency. Our elected officials need to be helping tenants stay in their homes, not pressuring them out.