The city of Lexington (pop. 10,118) has undergone major changes during the past 15 years, starting with the arrival of Tyson Foods (formerly Iowa Beef Packers) and other companies.
The influx of new companies has resulted in growing population along with a need for more affordable quality housing. Even before the growth spurt, houses in Lexington were deteriorating, to the critical point where dilapidated homes were outnumbering the good housing stock.
City of Lexington officials realized that action was needed and quick to reduce its supply of deteriorating homes.
In 2001, the city applied for and received $341,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to rehabilitate 12 homes with 51 percent being owned and occupied by very low-income wage earners and the remaining split among low- and moderate-income wage earners.
To accurately diagnose Lexington’s housing needs, officials conducted visual inspections and distributed a Community Attitude Survey.
Visual inspections led to the discovery of leaking and rotting window and door frames, leaky or inoperable faucets, sagging and rotting floors, rotten siding with peeling paint, electrical problems and roofs in bad need of repair. A handful of homes had outdated, inefficient and unsafe heating systems. Some houses didn’t have heating throughout the home.