10:42pm

Tue May 7, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Displaced Lexington Residents Seek New Homes

More than 150 residents of Lexington’s Pimlico Apartments must find new homes.  A multi-million dollar renovation at the public housing complex will force their relocation.  But,  finding a place won’t be easy…  Residents have a couple options.  While work is done repairing the Pimlico complex’s structure problems…they could rent from private landlord…paying for the move with a federal voucher.  But, resident Jessica Spivey says landlords who accept federal vouchers are hard to find.  “We have not been given any help as far as builders or renters or landlords that accept section 8.  It was here’s the voucher. You are on your own.  That’s where we need help,” said Spivey.

Another option has them moving into public housing…but, again, with 150 additional people looking for homes, Spivey says such units are hard to come by.

Of the two alternatives, Lexington Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills says the federal voucher is preferable…and her office will help qualified residents find landlords who will accept them.

“The voucher is the thing that you want because it gives you control over where you live.  You don’t have to live in a project based place.  You have to find a landlord who will take it.  But, by accepting it, by federal rules, you have to cover your own moving expenses,” added Mills.

To adequately house these people, David Christianson, who directs the Central Kentucky Housing and Homeless Coalition, says several agencies must collaborate.

“This particular situation has inundated the available resources to help people relocate and inundated the supply of places that people can get to,” said Christianson.

Without some assistance in locating housing and adequate financial means, Christianson worries some of these residents risk homelessness.  The affected Pimlico Apartment residents must move out of their apartments by August.