A resolution expressing support and commitment of the Metropolitan Council to fully fund the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing and urging the Mayor to restore remaining funds within the fiscal year with the aim of more immediately increasing affordably priced housing options in Nashville and Davidson County.
WHEREAS, accessing affordable and workforce housing is a primary concern of the citizens of Nashville and Davidson County, as it continues to be a major barrier to economic progress for many in Nashville; and
WHEREAS, increasing the supply of affordable and workforce housing supports economic growth and is an important tool in reducing poverty in Davidson County; and
WHEREAS, the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing was established in 2013 to assist in providing good quality affordable housing to residents of Davidson County with limited means, named in honor of Reverend William Barnes, who worked tirelessly over five decades to improve the lives and housing conditions of Davidson County residents of limited means; and
WHEREAS, in 2014, the initial round for the Barnes Fund created 40 affordable rental units for persons with incomes at or below 60% of the median family income. The $2 million investment leveraged an additional $2.5 million in federal and private funds. One half of the units were for persons with special needs. Since its inception the Barnes Fund has awarded $36 million to non-profit organizations who have leveraged those funds with $186 million in federal and private funding to produce over 1700 units of housing affordable to the targeted income group; and
WHEREAS, due to the necessity of providing corrections to structurally balance the fiscal year 2020 operating budget, the most recent round of Barnes Fund awards was reduced from $9.5 million to $5 million, cutting the number of units funded from 680 to 549, and decreasing access to or resulting in the loss of other leveraged funds; and
WHEREAS, Section 7.20 of the Metro Charter requires that amounts paid from the general fund for redemption and interest charges for bonds due to failure of the current levy to provide sufficient funds, shall be reimbursed from subsequent levies, and the administration has stated the intent to implement such reimbursement to the Barnes Fund before any other reimbursements; and
WHEREAS, reasonable access to affordable housing promotes community stability and development while preventing displacement. Therefore, the Council should continue to dedicate robust funding for the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing and further establish a comprehensive plan, developed with community input, that addresses Nashville’s affordable housing crisis; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council believes that the allocation of the full amount of Barnes Funding is a cost-effective use of funds toward the reduction of poverty throughout Nashville and Davidson County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY THAT:
Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as urging the Mayor’s Office to work to restore the remaining $4.5 million to the Barnes Fund in this fiscal year so that the remaining grant awards approved by the Barnes Commission can be processed before the end of the fiscal year.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as urging the Finance Director to adopt a policy of prioritizing the Barnes Fund restoration this fiscal year as revenues are realized above what is currently projected for the FY2020 operating budget.
Section 3. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record supporting the full funding of the Barnes Fund in the FY2021 budget without regard to any funds that may be pushed forward because of the current impoundment of $4.5 million.
Section 4. This resolution shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Burkley Allen, Kyonzté Toombs, Ginny Welsch, Sean Parker, Gloria Hausser, Sandra Sepulveda, Emily Benedict, Nancy VanReece, Brett Withers, Sharon Hurt, Freddie O'Connell, Zulfat Suara
Referred toAffordable Housing Committee
IntroducedJanuary 7, 2020
AdoptedJanuary 7, 2020
ApprovedJanuary 8, 2020
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Last Modified: 01/13/2020 10:13 AM