Mayor's Office of Housing
The Mayor’s Office of Housing assists Mayor Barry in the building, funding, and preservation of affordable housing options, while supporting efforts to prevent displacement and create mixed-income communities in Metro Nashville. The Office seeks to increase housing affordability countywide using data-driven policy and innovative development tools including the Barnes Housing Trust Fund, Housing Incentives Pilot Program, general obligation bonds, tax abatement, nonprofit capacity building, the creation of a community land trust, and the donation and development of Metro-owned properties. The Office of Housing also facilitates partnerships and implements policies that provide housing options for persons experiencing homelessness to those looking to stabilize their families with affordable homeownership opportunities.
Housing Programs and Initiatives
Barnes Housing Trust Fund
In 2013, Metro Nashville created its first housing trust fund to leverage affordable housing developments countywide. Named after Reverend Bill Barnes, a longstanding advocate for affordable housing and the deconcentration of poverty, 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.
Community Land Trust
The Barnes Fund is in the process of identifying a partnering organization to form Nashville’s first Community Land Trust (CLT). A CLT is an organization that maintains control and oversight of its affordable housing resources through ownership of land. A CLT is a way in which Nashville can create lasting affordable housing options for its residents.
General Obligation Bonds
In the FY17-18 Capital Spending Plan, Mayor Barry has proposed allocating $25M in general obligation bond funds to acquire and rehabilitate existing multi-family rental units, as well as adaptively reusing buildings and developing housing on Metro-owned properties.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing works closely with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission; Metro’s planning and coordinating entity that brings advocates, nonprofit organizations, for-profit business leaders, government agencies, and the general public together to collaborate on solutions of homelessness in Nashville. The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission launched How's Nashville.
Looking for help? Visit Where to Turn in Nashville or call the 2-1-1 helpline.
Nashville's Cold Weather Community Response
Housing, Hazards and Health with the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. In partnership with NLC, Mayor Barry seeks to achieve the infusion of a culture of health into Nashville’s housing policy efforts, specifically targeting low- to moderate-income families and seniors residents living in Nashville’s Promise Zone.
Housing Incentives Pilot Program
The Housing Incentives Pilot Program (HIPP) is designed to motivate private developers to incorporate affordable and workforce units into their apartment, condo, or housing developments. This voluntary program encourages more mixed-income housing, primarily in the urban core and along major pikes and transportation corridors where it is needed the most.
The Metropolitan Development & Housing Agency (MDHA) administers federal block grant funds including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing for Persons with Aids (HOPWA) program on behalf of Metro Nashville. Additionally, MDHA administers the Nashville Continuum of Care and as Nashville’s PHA, owns/maintains over 5,400 public housing units and administers the Rental Assistance Vouchers program for Nashville and Davidson County.
Nonprofit Capacity Building
In 2017, the Barnes Fund created a capacity building program designed to strengthen the management capacity of local nonprofit developers, with a focus on affordable housing finance and development. This program includes an organizational assessment, tailored technical assistance, and cohort-based trainings that explore the development process, financial analysis, and structuring needed to successfully develop and finance affordable housing developments.
In the 2017 State of Metro Address, Mayor Barry announced the launch of a new program to allow Metro to offer expedited property tax abatements to incentivize developers to build affordable units and rehab existing units.
In an effort to support teachers who want to live and work in Davidson County, Mayor Barry, working with Alignment Nashville and Metro Nashville Public Schools, has launched the Nashville Teacher Housing website as a resource for educators in Davidson County to find access to more affordable housing options. This partnership with local area developers and apartment managers encourages discounts and other special offers for teachers, while providing a one-stop shop for information related to financing, purchasing, or renting more affordable housing.
In April 2016, Mayor Barry announced the first private-public partnership on Metro-owned property at the intersection of 12th Avenue South and Wedgewood Avenue. Metro will maintain ownership of the land and the developer plans to construct 170 workforce housing units with rents ranging from $750 to $1500. The redevelopment proposal for Greer Stadium, former home of the Nashville Sounds baseball team, will also include affordable and workforce housing units.