Council to Discuss Updates to Affordable Housing Fund

Lexington, Ky. – The Budget, Finance, and Economic Development (BFED) Committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss updates to the Affordable Housing Fund. The meeting will consider a potential dedicated annual funding commitment to the fund that was established in 2014 to invest in safe, quality, and affordable housing in the city.

According to a consulting firm hired by LFUCG, the fund requires a dedicated funding source and an annual commitment of $36 million for ten years to achieve its mission. At the time, the City Council committed an initial investment of $3 million, with subsequent annual investments averaging around $2 million, but no dedicated funding source. This meant that the council had to allocate funding for the Affordable Housing Fund through the General Fund every year during the budgeting process.

In recent years, Lexington’s investment in Affordable Housing has increased, thanks in part to ARPA funding. The meeting will feature a proposal by Councilmember James Brown to repeal and replace the ordinance that created the Affordable Housing Fund with a new ordinance that would allocate 1% of the general fund revenue collected from the previous full fiscal year to the Affordable Housing Fund.

This proposal would mean a significantly increased investment for the Affordable Housing Fund annually, and a more secure commitment to the Fund in the budgeting process. Given the size of Lexington’s General Fund revenue, the proposal could potentially fulfill the consulting firm’s recommendation for the annual funding commitment to the Affordable Housing Fund.

In addition to the proposed funding commitment, the council is considering the creation of an Office of the Housing Advocate. The office would be established by ordinance with permanent funding and would centralize and provide oversight of the full spectrum of housing needs in the community. The office would also be responsible for implementing housing-related programs, advocating on behalf of community members, disseminating information, and coordinating with LFUCG departments and other partners.

CivicLex contributed to this report.

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