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.