Mayor Briley Commits Unprecedented Funding for Affordable Housing
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Thomas Mulgrew 615-862-6461
Mayor David Briley today announced a sweeping affordable housing initiative designed to significantly accelerate the city’s efforts to address housing needs. The “Under One Roof 2029” initiative aims to invest $750 million over the next 10 years in affordable housing in Nashville, with $500 million of that coming from the city. The initiative is expected to create at least 10,000 new units.
The “Under One Roof 2029” initiative has four key elements:
- $350 million investment of city funds in the Metro Development and Housing Agency to accelerate the Envision process and, in turn, add more than 5,000 new units on MDHA properties. This includes adding approximately 1,000 deeply affordable units (~20% increase). MDHA will also preserve and revitalize its existing 2,800 deeply affordable units, complementing the 5,000 new units.
- $150 million investment of city funds in the Barnes Fund – representing a 50% increase above current funding levels, which is projected to help fund the creation of at least another 5,000 affordable housing units throughout the city.
- $250 million challenge to the private sector to step forward with matching dollars. In an effort to better facilitate private investment in affordable housing, the Mayor’s Office is exploring a number of avenues, including the creation of an affordable housing Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
The already announced 100 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness with chronic barriers to shelter. These units will be built with an attached homeless service center that will serve the entire unhoused population of Nashville with bathrooms, showers, and direct links to housing and other support services and agencies.
“Nashville is thriving in many ways, and that is a good thing as growth creates better-paying jobs and generates revenue for schools, roads, parks and libraries,” Mayor Briley said. “Yet the true measure of a great city is how it treats all of its citizens – making sure growth is balanced by continuing to invest in people. The Under One Roof 2029 initiative will help ensure we all move forward together.”
“When people talk about affordable housing, they can mean different things depending on their circumstances and needs,” Briley continued. “Shelter is the most extreme and urgent need, but living near work and being able to keep a roof over your head while earning even the most modest full-time wage are also critically important. We need solutions for all of the above, and Under One Roof 2029 is a bold step in this direction.”
The $350 million in MDHA funding will be used to accelerate the Envision process, which is designed to increase access to affordable housing while remediating concentrated poverty in communities. The Envision process is currently underway at Cayce Place, Edgehill Apartments and Napier and Sudekum, but with the city’s investment, MDHA will be able to accelerate that work and more rapidly launch similar efforts at Cumberland View, Andrew Jackson and Cheatham Place. The local investment will allow MDHA to seek additional federal dollars to expand the number of affordable housing units built, creating more than 5,000 new homes at MDHA properties, with at least 1,000 “deeply affordable” units for those facing the most acute need plus another 1,600 affordable and workforce housing units.
“Today’s announcement is an extraordinary step forward for the city. Mayor Briley’s leadership is enabling us to leverage local dollars for the benefit of those most in need in Nashville,” said Charles Robert Bone, Chair of the MDHA Board of Directors. “Getting federal, state and local dollars to work together will enable us to get many more families into the homes they need. It also will put Nashville at the forefront of affordable housing efforts across the country.”
Under One Roof 2029 also commits an additional $150 million to the Barnes Fund over the next 10 years, expected to create at least 5,000 new units. A critical companion to the work of MDHA, the Barnes Fund makes competitive grants to nonprofit housing developers to increase affordable housing options for Nashvillians. Grants include funding for renovation or construction of affordable homeownership and rental opportunities and other supportive efforts to encourage affordability. Mayor Briley recently hired social enterprise expert Hannah Davis to oversee the Barnes Fund.
“The Barnes Fund plays a critical role in empowering nonprofit housing developers to work with the city to create more affordable housing opportunities for people. It’s public-private partnership at its best,” said Kaki Friskics-Warren, Chair of the Metro Housing Trust Fund Commission, which oversees the Barnes Fund. “This significant, ongoing commitment of public dollars to the Barnes Fund will help build capacity within the nonprofit development community and kick it into higher gear than ever.”
The Under One Roof 2029 initiative also includes a previously announced commitment of $25 million to build 100 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness and a connected homeless service center to serve the entire unhoused population.
As a companion to the $500 million commitment of public funds, Mayor Briley also issued a challenge to the private sector to invest an additional $250 million to support Under One Roof 2029. Briley highlighted the fact that addressing the city’s affordable housing needs cannot be shouldered exclusively by the public sector. It is also a significant workforce development and quality of life issue that employers and private philanthropy must help address. The Mayor’s Office is exploring a number of avenues to facilitate greater private-sector partnership and investment in affordable housing. The Mayor has also committed to personally working with private-sector leaders to advance those discussions.
Mayor Briley also announced that Matt Wiltshire will leave his current role as director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development to become MDHA’s Chief Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, a new position at the agency. Wiltshire’s responsibilities will include overseeing MDHA’s overall strategy and strengthening coordination of public and private partners. Wiltshire will work closely with the Mayor’s Office and other community partners to help implement the Under One Roof 2029 initiative.
Wiltshire has led the city’s economic and community development efforts through three mayoral administrations. Prior to that, he worked for several years in the investment banking industry in both New York and Nashville. He is a graduate of MNPS schools and received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
What People Are Saying About Under One Roof 2029
“This is a great day for Nashville. There is nothing more fundamental to one’s quality of life than having a roof over your head and a place to call home. By stepping forward with such a significant commitment, it will enable the Barnes Housing Trust Fund and other investments to have even a greater impact on housing affordability in Nashville.” Marshall Crawford, President & CEO The Housing Fund