Lexington coalition urges officials to address affordable housing, mental health and violent crime

Lexington, Ky.–BUILD, which stands for Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action, is a coalition of religious congregations in Lexington. According to a recent Herald-Leader report, the group has outlined its top priorities for this year at a rally, focusing on affordable housing, mental health care, and violent crime. BUILD organizers will ask elected officials to commit to their requests at their annual Nehemiah Action, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 24 at Central Bank Center.

BUILD is urging the city to dedicate $10 million a year to affordable housing, set up a pilot program for a “microtransit” public transportation service to help people with mental illnesses, and send the police chief to visit cities that have implemented GVI, a violence prevention initiative that BUILD favors.

The group plans to ask Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members to set aside 1% of the city’s revenue each year as a dedicated revenue stream for the affordable housing fund. BUILD also aims to ask council members to “develop a new source of funding” that will boost the fund to $10 million a year when combined with the 1% of city revenue.

BUILD is advocating for microtransit, which provides rides on demand, to alleviate the problem of a lack of reliable and accessible transportation for people with mental illnesses in Lexington.

Finally, the group plans to ask the Lexington Police Chief to visit New Haven, Conn., and Miami-Dade County, Fla., to meet with law enforcement officials that have implemented Group Violence Intervention, a program that attempts “to intervene in the lives of at-risk individuals before they escalate to shooting, and offers the support they need to change their lifestyle.”

Top photo: BUILD’s 2017 Nehemiah Action (Photo credit to Dana Rogers – Photography)