Spectrum News 10/04/2023 story
BY GERALDINE TORRELLAS
Louisville, KY–Kentucky Tenants is pushing for Lexington to adopt a Tenants’ Bill of Rights.
The bill of rights has four parts to it: eviction prevention, antidiscrimination, representation and accountability.
What You Need To Know
- Kentucky Tenants wants Lexington to have a Tenants’ Bill of Rights to protect renters
- The city’s Social Services and Public Safety Committee has a meeting scheduled to present an ordinance to ban source-of-income discrimination
- Lexington landlords are not required to accept housing vouchers, which help low-income renters pay for rent
- Kentucky Tenants supports the ban on source-of-income discrimination and hopes the ordinance will move forward to the city’s council
On Oct. 10, there will be a presentation during a Social Services and Public Safety Committee meeting to decide whether an ordinance to ban source-of-income discrimination will move forward to the city’s council.
Members of Kentucky Tenants said they hope the ordinance will make it to the city council’s work session next month. They said they have seen how landlords’ refusal to accept housing vouchers has affected people who are seeking housing.
This type of discrimination disproportionately affects renters of color, renters with disabilities, elderly people and women, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“I see people who are trying their hardest and are receiving so many rejections, being told they can’t live somewhere where they want to live and that makes me so upset,” said Andrea Zang, who is a leader with Kentucky Tenants.
Seventeen states and 85 cities have voucher nondiscrimination laws, according to the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Louisville is one of those cities.
“It’s not a controversial policy,” said Emma Anderson, the lead organizer of Kentucky Tenants. “It’s very basic. It’s a policy designed to make an existing program work better.”
The meeting will occur on Oct. 10 and members of Kentucky Tenants encouraged people who support the ban to send emails to Lexington council members. The organization will also be at the meeting to have a presence in the council chambers.