“How do we create the political will to invest in fixing our affordable housing gap?”
Client: Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Team Members: Charles Buki, Karen Beck Pooley
Services: Housing Analysis, Strategy Development, Report Creation
During 2013 and 2014, czb worked with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to create a framework for affordable housing strategy and development. czb analyzed demographic factors, wages, property values, housing assistance, and rent prices in Lexington, a market of approximately 125,000 households.
czb’s findings showed Lexington was meeting the needs of households with incomes of $40,000 or more but that the percentage of units affordable to the city’s lowest-income households had shrunk significantly in recent years. Our estimate revealed a 6,000-unit shortage of homes for the city’s lowest-income households and showed that the shortage would likely climb by 400 units each year — presenting a growing problem for the city’s poor.
To fund the subsidy required to provide 6,000 affordable housing units, czb proposed the creation of an affordable housing trust fund, requiring that the local government commit to an initial investment of between $3 million and $4 million.
In 2014, Lexington’s Urban County Council voted unanimously to allocate $3 million for an affordable housing trust fund and follow that up with $2 million annually over the next five years.
More than 430 affordable housing units have been built or renovated since the city began allocating taxpayer money to the Lexington Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 2014.
In 2014, Lexington’s City Council voted unanimously to allocate $3 million for an affordable housing trust fund and follow that up with $2 million annually over the next five years. Program directors have used that fiscal commitment to leverage more than $10 million in additional funding for the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing across the city. Since then, more than 430 affordable units have been built or renovated.