Lexington Realtors announced Friday a $16,500 program that will help pay deposits and the first month’s rent for people struggling with homelessness.
The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors received a $15,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Opportunity Program. The Lexington association has provided an additional $1,500.
New Life Day Center, a Lexington day shelter, will administer the program that could pay deposits and first-month rent for as many as 15 households. New Life ran a similar pilot program using $10,000 in city money.
That pilot program was enormously successful, said Charlie Lanter, director of Lexington’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.
“This program housed 83 people in nine months spending an average of just $250 per household,” Lanter said. “Of the 51 households supported, only two have not maintained their housing.”
Carl Tackett, president of LBAR, said reducing homelessness strengthens the community and neighborhoods.
“Housing Opportunity grants will help raise awareness about the need for more housing opportunities in our community as well as identify and promote solutions that address affordability,” Tackett said. “Reducing homelessness helps stabilize neighborhoods and improves the overall quality of the community, helps Realtors promote and sell neighborhoods.”
In addition to LBAR, the Home Builders Association of Lexington has stepped up to address homelessness in Lexington, city officials said. The group has built several homes for homeless veterans and has renovated a home for a homeless family.