Lexington's Urban County Council voted 12-0 Thursday to approve funding and oversight for a city affordable housing trust fund.
The council agreed to set aside $2 million for the fund, which will be used to encourage the rehabilitation or construction of housing that lower-income residents can afford. The council also approved $750,000 for the office of homelessness prevention and intervention. The ordinances do not say how the affordable housing fund or office of homelessness will be funded in the future.
Thursday's vote was expected because the council this year agreed to use surplus funds to start the trust fund and set aside money for homelessness programs.
Also Thursday, the council approved a tax increase for homes that have been certified as abandoned and vacant.
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The tax increase is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value. That would change the current property tax on a $100,000 home from $1,164 to $2,164 on an abandoned home. The city has already sent notices about some 330 suspected abandoned properties.
The property owners have until January to explain why they should not be included on the list or to fix up the property.
After the city certifies the property as abandoned or vacant, property owners will have time to challenge the additional assessment before the additional tax is assessed in October.
Two council members, Jennifer Scutchfield and Ed Lane, voted against the increase.