Demonstrators call for ‘Tenants’ Bill of Rights’ in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Marchers shout, ‘Housing is a human right, together we will win this fight’ in unison through downtown Lexington Thursday evening.
“It’s a rent crisis. People are making decisions to not buy food, to not buy medical care because they have to make rent,” said Andrea Zang, a member of the KY Tenant Group.
A few dozen members of the Kentucky Tenants group marching from the courthouse plaza to Lexington City Hall. Asking for what they’re calling a ‘Tenants’ Bill of Rights.’
“We’re working on a right to counsel program, so this would make sure that every tenant would have a lawyer. Right now, most landlords will have a lawyer. Very few tenants do. We’re also trying to get a ban on source of income discrimination passed. So landlords wouldn’t be able to say no to Section 8,” Zang said.
Member Andrea Zang said they’re also asking for a landlord registration that would make their history available to renters. As well as permanent rental assistance provided by the city.
“I went down on some medical issues and got where I couldn’t pay my rent. I found some people who could help me out. It saved me,” said Charles Starks, another member of the KY Tenant Group.
Charles Starks knows what it feels like to face an eviction. That’s why he marches through the city, and up to the podium, sharing his story with city councilmembers. And he wasn’t alone.
“If I could, I would buy a home for my mom, so we would never have to worry about this again,” said Asan Gatewood.
15-year-old Asan Gatewood details the difficulty his family faced finding housing on their section eight vouchers.
“She couldn’t find a landlord who would rent to us. I was constantly worried if I was going to have a place to sleep the next month.”
Now pleading for this change.
The group’s proposal will now move to committee.
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