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Voters consider housing issues as they head to the polls

Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 18:03:43-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington tenants who've been evicted, forced to vacate, and priced out in the city encouraged others to consider housing issues this midterm election.

Landing housing in Lexington's Meadowthorpe neighborhood in the 1980s was a dream for Charles Starks, but as the housing market improved, his situation quickly changed.

"The gentleman I had the house from, he sold it," said Starks.

After nearly 40 years, he was forced to relocate. Starks says it took him a year to find someplace affordable and his rent continues to increase at his new place. It's the main issue driving him to the polls.

"This is very important. There's too much at stake. A lot of different people are saying a lot of different things. Who do we believe?" said Starks.

Mothers, seniors, and people who faced eviction organized outside of the Fountaine Apartments on Monday, urging people to vote for candidates that will take actionable and measurable steps to address the housing crisis.

"I'm having to pick up an extra job to be able to just pay my rent. One paycheck goes to my rent. Rent in Lexington has gone through the roof and our elected officials are not doing nearly enough to protect us," said Davita Gatewood, a single mother of six who spent eight months looking for a place to live.

Emma Anderson said that after she was evicted, it took her six months.

"That scares me, the fact that me — somebody who normally doesn't have to worry about paying rent couldn't find a place," said Anderson.

Soaring rents and the highest inflation in decades have mobilized voters nationwide.

Members of Kentucky Tenants say that when they vote on Tuesday, they're voting for a Tenants' Bill of Rights and a way out of their housing trauma.