NOAH’s Progress with Affordable Housing Issues
IN THE NEWS
- Sunday, July 16, 2017, representatives from the Mayor's Office met with NOAH leaders on Nashville’s affordable housing need, reported HERE by Fox17.
- The Mayor’s Office published the Housing Report, recognizing that Nashville needs 31,000 new affordable housing rental units by 2025, reported HERE in The Tennessean.
- Focused Mayoral campaigns on affordable housing and stamped affordable housing on the public consciousness as a critical issue;
- Have a Mayor’s Office of Housing with director and a manager of the Barnes Housing Trust Fund;
- Ad-Hoc Affordable Housing Committee of Metro Council created;
- $10 million for Barnes Trust Fund in city budget annually (no recurring funding);
- $25 million in General Obligation Bonds in city budget to buy low-income housing at risk of being bought by developers who would then drive up the rent;
- 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 measureable 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 Apts, 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 “Housing Nashville” report says Nashville needs 31,000 affordable units. Nashville is becoming unaffordable to service workers and even police officers and teachers. Of all renters, 44% are “cost-burdened,” paying more than 30% of income in rent. Over 70% of low‑income renters are cost-burdened.
- 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 were reassessed. Some areas faced property value increases of 57%, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods. Increasing property taxes are pressuring elderly, lower-income homeowners, accelerating gentrification even more. Nashville is facing an affordable housing crisis, and we need to keep the affordable housing that we have. As a city, we need to be as serious about affordable housing as about stadiums and convention centers.
The Task Force Chairs are:
Paulette Coleman, email@example.com