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Resolution RS2020-286

A resolution requesting flexibility in rent and mortgage collection in the city of Nashville and supporting the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to provide housing security in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

WHEREAS, the outbreak of COVID-19 has made necessary social distancing and the prohibition of crowds of any size to prevent the rapid spread of this potentially deadly disease, and on March 16, 2020, the Metro Director of Health restricted business in bars and restaurants, followed by Mayor John Cooper issuing the Safer at Home Order on March 22, 2020, causing many other businesses to stop or significantly reduce operations; and

WHEREAS, the shutdown of businesses in the city of Nashville has resulted in the reduction in wages and income of many residents, especially those in the hospitality and music industries, which are integral parts of Nashville’s identity and economy; and

WHEREAS, the containment protocol of COVID-19 in Nashville has also resulted in the suspension of school operations, requiring parents to stay at home or spend money on childcare facilities and services; and

WHEREAS, this loss of income will result in an unprecedented number of residents being unable to pay mortgage and rent costs in the upcoming months until their employment returns to normal, and the potential loss of housing or business space for otherwise self-sufficient citizens and businesses could be prevented by collective efforts at creative and lenient financing during this period of pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the suspension of mortgage payments in Italy as part of its COVID-19 economic relief package and in the aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico serve as important precedents and examples of possible implementation in Nashville; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) has suspended all non-essential evictions for the duration of Mayor John Cooper’s Safer at Home Order as long as there are no criminal allegations or public health risks, and Davidson County Courts and Davidson County Sheriff’s Office have indefinitely suspended all eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders, and can serve as a precedent in the current situation; and

WHEREAS, utilities such as Piedmont Natural Gas, Nashville Electric Service, and Metro Water Services have established policies of waiving late fees and allowing installment payments for utility bills over an extended period to help residents through this difficult time; and

WHEREAS, Mayor John Cooper has created a COVID-19 response fund to help provide relief, Vice Mayor Jim Shulman has created a Small Business Task Force to create solutions and provide information for struggling small businesses, many non-profit organizations are dispensing food and household necessities, and state and federal programs have also been created to provide financial support for those who have lost income due to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, even with the many measures that have been put in place to provide support to those who have lost significant income, there is still very real concern about being able to make housing payments; and

WHEREAS, a suspension on rent and mortgage payments for tenants experiencing significant loss of income due to COVID-19 measures would reassure residents and small business owners of Nashville and provide housing security in a time where social distancing, quarantine, and isolation are key procedures in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. That the Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as thanking all the private, non-profit, and government entities that have already created programs to provide relief to individuals and small businesses who are struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19.

Section 2. That the Metropolitan Council encourages all landlords, banks, and mortgage companies to waive late fees and create delayed payment plans for tenants and customers whose monthly incomes have dropped significantly; and in the absence of a significant voluntary response by May 1, 2020, the Metropolitan Council requests that the Federal Government, and/or the State of Tennessee use the powers vested within them to expand the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to delay certain rent and mortgage payments for a period of 60 days, with the option to renew on a bi-monthly basis, until the end of Mayor John Cooper’s Safer at Home Order and the beginning of a financial recovery.

Section 3. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to each member of the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Section 4. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsor(s)

Burkley Allen, Freddie O'Connell, Jeff Syracuse, Sean Parker, Kyonzté Toombs, Delishia Porterfield, Thomas Cash, Erin Evans, Zulfat Suara, Jennifer Gamble, Ginny Welsch, Thom Druffel, John Rutherford, Robert Swope, Sharon Hurt, Emily Benedict, Russ Bradford, Gloria Hausser, Joy Styles, Sandra Sepulveda, Tanaka Vercher

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedApril 21, 2020

AdoptedApril 21, 2020

ApprovedApril 22, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 04/24/2020 3:44 PM