State Of Metro: $3M Affordable Housing Trust Fund To Create Hundreds Of Homes For Nashville’s Poor

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean: "Existing grants will be used to establish the fund with an initial $3 million and with ongoing investments, we expect to generate 100 new affordable housing units and improve the affordability of an additional 200 existing units each year." Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean: “Existing grants will be used to establish the fund with an initial $3 million and with ongoing investments, we expect to generate 100 new affordable housing units and improve the affordability of an additional 200 existing units each year.” Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wants more affordable places to live for poor people, who are spending more than a third of their pay on rent.  Dean used his “State of Metro” address Monday to announce an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Dean called poverty a complex problem with no quick fix, before saying subsidized housing can help people on a path into the middle class.  The 3 million dollar fund is paid for with existing grants, and named in honor of Reverend Bill Barnes.  Barnes says he’s wanted such a fund to happen for 17 years.

“And Karl is doing that, so we finally have a housing trust fund in Nashville.  And it’s just – it’s not the silver bullet, but it’s a very important ingredient in moving beyond concentrated poverty.”

The fund aims to spur mixed-income development, which Barnes says is important because projects that cluster poor people can breed more poverty.  Each year a commission would give grants to nonprofit developers who renovate or build new affordable housing.  It’s expected to add a few hundred more units a year.


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