5:14pm

Tue September 24, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Mortgage Settlement Generates Funds For Lexington's Homeless

Several social service agencies plus Lexington government will benefit from the settlement of a lawsuit filed by state attorneys-general against mortgage lenders.  They were accused of unfairly foreclosing on thousands of homes during the recession. 

In Lexington, over three quarters of a million dollars will go to assist displaced families, foreclosure prevention, and affordable housing.   For example, some of these funds will match a $230-thousand in federal money and help build low-cost homes for residents displaced by the Newtown Pike Extension Project.  Irene Gooding directs the Division of Grants and Special Programs for Lexington.

“We want to make the area a very nice area to live in and displaced people will have the option of living there or not living there.  I mean it’s always there choice, but if they choose not to live there, the housing will become available to other people,” said Gooding.

$125-thousand will fund repairs and renovations at the Hope Homeless Shelter.  Director Cecil Dunn says the money means some men can sleep in a real bed.

“This allowed us to do some other things needed and mainly get more beds and get folks off on crowded nights and days and more folks off the floor.  We put in more showers and more bathrooms, redid the clinic, the health clinic,” said Dunn.

$50-thousand will go to the Salvation Army for emergency assistance.  Salvation Army Major Debra Ashcraft says they’ve seen a steady increase in the number of homeless people.

“Our dollars are gonna be put toward helping them become self sufficient, job training, life stills classes.  Also taking care of their basic needs,” added Ashcraft.

Other funds will go to the Urban League and Habitat for Humanity.  Council approval is needed to move the money out to agencies, but member Ed Lane predicts easy passage.