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Barnes Housing Trust Fund

In 2013, Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Council created Metro Nashville's 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.

In July 2016, Mayor Megan Barry committed to an annual investment of $10M—the largest investment to date. Since inception, the Barnes Fund has invested more than $27M in affordable housing development and rehabilitation and has leveraged over $127M of federal and private funding to construct more than 1300 housing units.

Download a one pager about the Barnes Fund

Funding Guidelines

Eligible projects must create or preserve affordable housing opportunities in Nashville and Davidson County. Rental projects must be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the median family income adjusted for family size. Home buyer/home owner rehabilitation projects must be affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of the median family income adjusted for family size.

How to Apply

The Fall 2017 Competitive Round of the Barnes Fund closed on October 23, and received 21 applications.

Metro-Owned Properties for Donation

In addition to awarding funds to nonprofit developers, The Barnes Fund donates Metro-owned property to nonprofit applicants. In order to apply for Metro-owned properties, developers must also apply for financial support and it must be during a competitive funding round. Current list of Metro-owned properties

The Barnes Fund and Community Land Trust

In 2017, the Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund Commission approved the creation of Nashville’s first Community Land Trust (CLT) and selected The Housing Fund as its partner to develop and steward this model. This CLT will be the first city-wide entity to provide permanently affordable homeownership opportunities to better meet the needs of working families in Nashville. The goal of the CLT is to protect local residents from displacement by ensuring working families can afford to live in their community and keep homes in their community affordable for generations to come.

The Barnes Fund and 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 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 addition, The Barnes Fund and Center for Nonprofit Management are proud to release the Nonprofit Organizational Assessment to help local groups self-assess their organizations, board of directors, and impact in Nashville.

Thank you to our partners, the Center for Nonprofit Management, and National Development Council, for helping to craft these unique capacity building programs for our affordable housing developers and to program sponsors Regions, Fifth Third Bank, US Bank, and MDHA.

Since the launch of this program, participation of minority and women-led organizations has increased to 69% and the number of nonprofit Barnes Fund participants has more than doubled.

Apply for Barnes Nonprofit Capacity Building by May 31, 2018.

Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund Commission

The Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund Commission governs the Barnes Fund to fund and assist in providing good quality affordable housing. The Commission meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at the Sonny West Conference Center.