2019 YEAR END REPORT - AFFORDABLE HOUSING TASK FORCE
(PDF version is HERE.)
- Strategic Planning goals determined
- Celebrated retiring chair, Dr. Paulette Coleman
- Participated in TIF study committee meetings and supported Paulette. (Jan - May)
- Held 3 meetings with Mayor Briley's staff about housing plan before it was announced.
- Spoke to Peace Corps workers from Minnesota.
- 3 Working Groups set up - Education & Outreach, Local Government, State Government
- Local and State Government group members attended multiple MDHA, Barnes Fund, Planning Commission meetings (March to December)
- Wrote opinion piece for Tennessean about shortcomings of Briley’s housing plan (printed Aug)
- Riverchase Apartments (May through December) - Researched potential redevelopment of apartments, by meetings with Metro Planning Department, McFerrin Park Neighborhood Association, Council Member Sean Parker, tenants, and 2 phone meetings with owner. Testified at Metro Planning Commission about need for affordable housing in redevelopment plans.
- NOAH Issues Convention chooses AH as a main issue of NOAH
July & August
- Leadership transition of task force
- Three meetings with Matt Wilshire of MDHA for clarification on Briley’s affordable housing plans
- Contributed questions at two NOAH Public Meetings with Mayoral Candidates
- Students engaged from Vanderbilt Office of Active Citizenship and Service
- Established Google Drive repository of info for Task Force
- Participated in Good Neighbor Festival
- Paulette Coleman appointed to MDHA Board
- Recruited our task force members for the October Task Force training
- Initial contacts made with CALEB, MICAH, Council on Aging, Catholic Charities, League of Women Voters, others
- Presentation about affordable housing made to Metro Council (Paulette Coleman)
- Organized Power One-on-ones with Metro Council Members (continuing now)
- Worked on materials for outreach (PowerPoint, etc.)
- Worked on a one-pager on the Task Force's work for Campaign Coordinating Committee
- Organized a rally/press conference, email/phone call campaign re Barnes Fund cuts
Goal(s) for next year?
- Work with Metro Council and others to create a Housing Department with civil servants
- Attain recurring Barnes Fund funding for three years out.
- Do more One-on-Ones and report about them at Task Force meetings. Analyze, look for trends.
- Set a number goal for public presentations about affordable housing
What did we learn this year that we didn’t know before?
- Realized we need to have a rapid response plan for taking action under the banner of NOAH.
- We were reminded of the importance of strong relationships with decision makers.
- Advocated for a better Donelson “Transit Oriented Development District (TODD)” plan that would preserve existing affordable housing as well as create new affordable housing. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/08/22/30-m-transit-oriented-development-donelson-defeated/923984002/
- Successfully advocated, with the Metro Council, for the preservation of 584 units of very low income housing for people living with disabilities at Trevecca Towers. (April 2018). https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2018/04/13/trevecca-towers-affordable-housing-nashville/494771002/
- Recommended further research on public incentives (Tax Increment Financing, TIF) to determine if developers’ plans benefit the people in their communities. Mayor David Briley's administration and Metro Development and Housing Agency Executive Director Jim Harbison agreed to not sign off on any new TIF loans through June 30, 2019, unless the Metro Council and MDHA board authorized the loan (Oct. 2018).
- AHTF chair was represented on Stand Up Nashville’sboard that successfully advocated to secure a signed benefit agreement on the soccer stadium development that included 20% affordable housing will be built around the stadium (over 240 affordable units) (Sept. 5, 2018).
- Pushed for an affordable housing plan from Mayor Briley’s Office with measurable goals, a timeline, and resources, that included a verbal commitment by the mayor at the NOAH meeting held on October 28, 2018, stating that he would meet with “interested parties” to move forward on an affordable housing plan to be completed in less than 12 months (Oct. 2018).
- Wrote to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency(MDHA)asking them to disclose their commitment to quality and affordable housing within the transit oriented development in Donelson which could be a template for future transit development (Link to Paulette Coleman’s letter to The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency(MDHA)letter, May, 2018).
- Advocated for and endorsedthe appointment of Dr. Paulette Coleman to Metro’s special committee to study Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Nashville and to make recommendations for changes so that TIF funding is used more for affordable housing and less for downtown development (Dr. Coleman’s appointment was approved, Nov. 2018).
- Advocated for the appointment of Affordable housing experts to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency(MDHA)Board who are sympathetic to affordable housing (Nov. 2018).
- Focused Mayoral campaigns on affordable housing and stamped affordable housing on the public consciousness as a critical issue;
- Successfully advocated for a Mayor’s Office of Housing with a director of housing to assist the Mayor in the building, funding, and preservation of affordable housing options, while supporting efforts to prevent displacement and create mixed-income communities in Metro Nashville members appointed who are sympathetic to affordable housing (in 2018 the position for director of housing remains open).
- Publicized and assisted lower-income elderly homeowners in accessing existing programs of property tax assistance;
- Successfully advocated for inclusionary zoning and developer subsidy bills passed by Metro Council, with the realization that these bills need strengthening.
- Successfully pushed for an affordable housing plan from Mayor Barry’s Office although the plan failed to include measurable goals, a timeline, and a commitment to resources.
- Paulette Coleman, chair of AHTF, was our representative to the Transit and Affordability Task Force and NOAH AHTF members packed the meetings, resulting in good recommendations.
- Successfully advocated with Mayor Barry for the Mayor’s Office to create a Housing manager of the Barnes Housing Trust Fund and for an Ad-Hoc Affordable Housing Committee of Metro Council (In 2018 the position for Housing manager of the Barnes Trust Fund remains open).
- Supported $10 million a year in the city budget to be allocated to the Barnes Housing Trust Fund to make grants to non-profits.
- Supported $25 million in General Obligation Bonds in city budget to buy affordable apartment complexes in danger of purchase by for-profit developers.
- Joined “Welcome Home: The Movement for Affordable Housing” to push for dedicated funding for housing, land bank and land trust, a scorecard on gains or losses of affordable housing, and other needed efforts. The scorecard passed Metro Council.
- Supported the creation of an agreement between the developers and the tenants to maintain a certain number of the units as affordableat The Park at Hillside, preventing them from becoming market rate units upon their sale after the expiration of their 20-year affordability restriction(the agreement is tied to the zoning change needed for the project.)