The first building of a multimillion-dollar overhaul in East Nashville’s Cayce Homes will open in July. A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held today. It’s the city’s first new public housing in almost two decades. But it doesn’t quite represent the social integration envisioned by the larger redevelopment.
The four-story apartment building has 70 one-bedroom units that will house senior, disabled and single residents. All of them will get subsidies to pay their rent.
Audrey Bone has lived at Cayce Homes since 2000. She started in a three-bedroom unit and downsized to a two-bedroom after her children moved out. She will now be moving into a one-bedroom, but says it’s worth giving up the size.
“I just found out yesterday,” she said. “To actually move in something that’s new and I can start from the ground up like that. I’ve been living here for 17 years. This is really nice.”
The new building is named “Barrett Manor,” in honor of the late Nashville civil rights attorney and activist George Barrett, who grew up in public housing.
Funding for this project included $9.6 million in replacement capital funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), $2 million from Metro Council and $500,000 from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA).
James Cayce is Nashville’s largest subsidized housing community. The Envision Cayce plan calls for replacement of all the units that exist now, plus another 1200 apartments—some discounted and some at market-rate.
But that mixed-income concept won’t apply to the first building. Though its opening kicked off the 600 million-dollar project, it’ll roughly be another two years before an integrated building is planned to open.