Affordable Housing in Fayette County: Facts and Myths
As you’ve probably heard by now, several community groups are advocating for a 5,000-acre expansion of our historic Urban Service Boundary. Those in favor of expansion claim that our city needs more land for affordable housing.
Fayette Alliance also wants more affordable housing in Lexington. We want our city to be a just and equitable place where every citizen has an opportunity to succeed.
- However, expansion is not the answer here.
We know, from data and research, that more land will not lower the cost of housing in Lexington-Fayette County. This is a fact, and we need the community and our elected officials to consider this research when they make decisions about how Lexington will grow.
Additionally, an expansion of the USB will not automatically create affordable housing options.
More Land ≠ Affordable Housing
- Subsidies and Equitable Policies = Affordable Housing
Local, state, and federal governments should incentivize developers to build affordable housing through tax credits, local funding, policy changes, and more.
There is currently no affordable housing plan for the proposed 5,000-acre expansion.
Location. Location. Location.
Additionally, building affordable housing on the outskirts of our urban core — away from jobs, and public transit — is not equitable.
Studies show that our downtown is the largest economic catalyst to our city — it’s where jobs and opportunity abound. Does it seem equitable to place our most vulnerable citizens in a location where they are required to own a vehicle to survive?
The False Narrative
Sacrificing prime soil and world-class farmland won’t lower the cost of housing, and it won’t magically create affordable housing.
However: this is the narrative that’s being told by community groups, misinformed citizens, and a few of our elected officials.
Expand the boundary — and poof — affordable housing appears.
In actuality, a combination of infill and redevelopment, combined with subsidies for developers, can help create a diverse, liveable, and walkable Lexington.
So, let’s change that narrative — together.
Here’s our challenge to you…
1. Watch the short video below — it does a fantastic job of concisely explaining how affordable housing is created in US cities.
Download the next graphic and share it on social media.
- Use the hashtag #lexgrowsmart + tag Fayette Alliance in your post.
Together, we can change the narrative of affordable housing.