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In the late 1960's, several members of the Unitarian Universalists Church of Lexington decided there was a serious need in Lexington for affordable housing for senior citizens. They worked with the founding owners of Southeastern Management Center and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in Louisville, Kentucky to raise the funding under the Section 236 Housing Act to build Emerson Center, 178 unit apartment building to provide affordable housing for senior citizens. Emerson Center opened in 1972. 

Emerson Center is a non-profit, retirement community for senior citizens 55 years of age or older. Rent is based on income with all utilities paid. The Unitarian Universalists Church of Lexington remains the sponsor of the property. Emerson Center is professionally managed by Southeastern Management Center, Inc.
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