NOAH’s Progress in Affordable Housing Issues
NOAH’s HOUSING PLATFORM
- Preserve and produce affordable housing through recurring funding for the Barnes Housing Trust Fund, inclusionary housing policies, and creative uses of federal, state and local funds.
- Prevent displacement through home repair assistance, property tax relief for longtime residents, homeowner education, and other efforts.
- Create a structure of accountability for affordable housing needs, such as an adequately staffed Mayor’s Office of Affordable Housing.
- Affordable Housing advocates should be appointed to the Board of MDHA (Metro Development and Housing Agency) and Metro Planning Commission.
- Focused Mayoral campaigns on affordable housing and stamped affordable housing on the public consciousness as a critical issue.
- Have a senior policy advisor on affordable housing now in Mayor’s Office and another staff person to manage the Barnes Housing Trust Fund.
- Ad-Hoc Affordable Housing Committee of Metro Council created.
- $10 million for Barnes Trust Fund in city budget; $5 million from land sale (but no recurring funding).
- Inclusionary zoning and developer subsidy bills passed by Council, as a first step.
- Affordable housing expert recently appointed to MDHA Board; Metro Planning Commission members appointed who are sympathetic to affordable housing.
- Mayor and Council committed to develop a housing plan with measurable goals and annual report.
WHERE WE ARE—
- We deeply appreciate the work that Mayor Barry and her office have done. She has done more than any mayor EVER has for affordable housing — with $10 million for the Barnes Fund and a new developer incentive of $2 million. At the same time, she is presiding over the biggest LOSS of affordable housing in Nashville’s history.
- Thousands of affordable units are being lost, with formerly subsidized apartments turning market-rate (Howe Gardens, Edmondson Manor, Park at Hillside, Metro Manor, James Robertson Apartments, others). Many affordable homes are torn down to build incredibly expensive "tall-and-skinnies."
- Urban neighborhoods are gentrifying rapidly and low and moderate income people are being pushed to Antioch or Madison and often out of the county. Historic Nashville’s list of endangered buildings now includes an entire neighborhood — Cleveland Park in East Nashville.
- The estimated need in Nashville is 20,000 affordable and 20,000 workforce units, as well as housing for at least 3,000 homeless. Nashville is quickly becoming unaffordable to service workers and even police officers and teachers. Almost half of all households are renters. Of these, 52.75% are "cost-burdened," paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent.
- We celebrate the recent allocation of grants to non-profits from the Barnes Fund. With Barnes Fund money and matching funding, the non-profits project to build 332 housing units. However, at this rate, it would take 60 years to meet the present need for affordable housing. This assumes that the need does not increase every year, which it does. We MUST make a bigger impact!
- In 2017, property values in Nashville are being reassessed. Some areas face property value increases of 57%, especially in gentriyfing neighborhoods. Increasing property taxes will be pressuring elderly, lower-income homeowners in those areas, accelerating gentrification even more. Nashville is facing an affordable housing crisis, and we need to keep the affordable housing that we have.
A pdf of NOAH’s platform on affordable housing and gentrification is here.