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Partnership between Homelessness Commission and MDHA continues


The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) continues its collaboration with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission supporting the How's Nashville campaign.

MDHA created a local preference for vulnerable people experiencing chronic homelessness and sets aside up to 18 Housing Choice Vouchers each month to assist How’s Nashville with its goal to end chronic homelessness in our community within four years. While the waiting list for the Voucher program is normally closed throughout most of the year, MDHA accepts applications each month from people identified by the Homelessness Commission as being chronically homeless and vulnerable.

MDHA is the largest provider of affordable housing in Nashville and officials said they recognized the current momentum in our community around moving chronically homeless people from the streets into housing as quickly as possible.

The federal government allows local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to prioritize housing vouchers to the most vulnerable populations. MDHA took this opportunity for collaboration to benefit, which will benefit the entire community.

In addition, MDHA also received agreement from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to use Community Development Block Grant funds to assist homeless applicants through the How's Nashville campaign with deposits and first month rent to expedite their move-ins.

Will Connelly, director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said HUD officials are paying close attention to this demonstration project in Nashville.

“HUD provides guidance to cities that want to prioritize these vouchers and shift away from a first-come-first-serve approach,” Connelly said. “Our partnership with MDHA is critical. It is a big piece in the puzzle to ending chronic homelessness in Nashville.”

MDHA was one of the earliest partners to join the How’s Nashville effort, a local campaign launched by the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission in June 2013. The goal of How’s Nashville partners is to end chronic homelessness in four years.

Local How’s Nashville partners include Open Table Nashville, Mental Health Cooperative, Park Center, the local VA, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), Nashville Cares, Room In The Inn, the Nashville Rescue Mission, Colby’s Army, United Neighborhood Health Services, Metro Social Services, Centerstone, Nashville Downtown Partnership, United Neighborhood Health Services, Freeman Webb, YW, Street Works, the Salvation Army, and more.