What affordable housing means in Lexington

Get answers to these frequently asked questions about affordable housing options and qualifications in Lexington.

Lexington, Kentucky's skyline with a sunset of blues, reds, and oranges

Affordable housing can mean many things, so we’re breaking down what it means for Lexington. | Photo by @femibranded

Affordable housing is a hot topic our readers often ask us about, especially as the average cost of living continues to grow and more projects are announced for the city. But what is affordable housing, actually? Let’s break down what this phrase means in Lexington.

Defining aspects of affordable housing

According to the city, “housing is considered affordable when safe, quality housing is available and rent and utility costs are no more than 30% of gross household income.” For example, if someone makes $40,000 a year, housing would cost $1,000 or less per month, coinciding with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) definition.

Local public housing is typically funded by HUD and owned + operated by the Lexington-Fayette County Housing Authority (LHA). However, not all affordable housing is funded by the government — that’s where Lexington’s Office of Affordable Housing comes in. This department is in charge of allocating any money the housing fund receives. Those investments, from both private and public sectors, help produce and maintain affordable and subsidized housing.

The term “subsidized housing” refers to government programs that reduce housing costs for low- to moderate-income residents. In Lexington, this includes seniors, individuals with serious mental illness, single parents, and more.


In order to be eligible for city-provided public housing, there are five factors that individuals must meet:

  • Qualifying as a family, which is defined “as a group of people related by blood, marriage, adoption, or affinity that live together in a stable relationship”
  • Having an income that doesn’t exceed 80% of the median income in Lexington
  • Having citizenship or residency in the US
  • Having a Social Security Number
  • All family members must sign consent forms

Affordable housing in the city is run by the LHA, which manages 1,100+ units and provides resources including listing available properties, employment opportunities, and housing for seniors.