In April, KRCC's Rental Assistance program hosted a special appreciation lunch and training session for local landlords.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the nation's Fair Housing Act, and this April, KRCC's Housing Division joined with people all across the country in reaffirming America's commitment to ending housing discrimination.
Bailey Richards, KRCC's director of rental assistance, instructed her staff to wear purple for homelessness awareness on April 11, and on April 18, hosted an appreciation lunch and Fair Housing training session for local landlords, many of whom partner with KRCC.
"Most of the people who were here today are private landlords," said Richards, shortly after the conclusion of the day's event at Jabo's Coal River Grille in Hazard.
"It's really nice to have landlords who have lots of units and are really good to work with," Richards added. "We actually maintain a really big list of around 140 landlords. When people come to us looking for housing, we give them that list and help them find units where they'd like to live."
"So, everyone who was here today has some of our people (KRCC clients) living in their units, and we help them pay the rent," Richards explained. "We'll pay all of their rent up to 30 percent of their income."
KRCC's Rental Assistance program helps people who have a difficult time finding housing, usually because they have a mental illness, a bad background check, and/or other issues.
"By working with KRCC, these landlords have a sense of security in knowing they have an advocate working on behalf of both the client and the landlord," Richards said. "Ultimately, we're here for the client, but having a good relationship with the landlord helps the client to be able to stay there."
Rental Assistance staff works to moderate disputes between the landlord and the client, and they also do regular inspections to make sure everything is as it should be.
"We want to help people stay housed, and we work to help them get back on their feet by helping them find employment, work on income, and all sorts of things. So, in the end, that helps both parties," Richards noted.
“The big takeaway from this event is that the law is still important and discrimination’s not been fixed, but there are a lot of people out there trying to help.”Bailey Richards, Director of Rental Assistance
At the event, Richards stressed the importance of non-discrimination and wanted all present to understand that no one can be denied housing due to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and/or familial status.
"(Discrimination) in housing still happens pretty regularly," she said. "If anyone is experiencing that or knows someone who is, they should contact the Lexington Fair Housing Council and pass their complaints along to them."
If you have questions about KRCC's Rental Assistance Program, please contact Bailey Richards by calling 606-436-5761 and enter ext. 7641.