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Mayor Briley Commits Unprecedented Funding for Affordable Housing

3/26/2019
Thomas Mulgrew 615-862-6461

Mayor David Briley today announced a sweeping affordable housing initiative designed to significantly accelerate the city’s efforts to address housing needs. The “Under One Roof 2029” initiative aims to invest $750 million over the next 10 years in affordable housing in Nashville, with $500 million of that coming from the city. The initiative is expected to create at least 10,000 new units.

The “Under One Roof 2029” initiative has four key elements:

  1. $350 million investment of city funds in the Metro Development and Housing Agency to accelerate the Envision process and, in turn, add more than 5,000 new units on MDHA properties. This includes adding approximately 1,000 deeply affordable units (~20% increase). MDHA will also preserve and revitalize its existing 2,800 deeply affordable units, complementing the 5,000 new units.
  2. $150 million investment of city funds in the Barnes Fund – representing a 50% increase above current funding levels, which is projected to help fund the creation of at least another 5,000 affordable housing units throughout the city.
  3. $250 million challenge to the private sector to step forward with matching dollars. In an effort to better facilitate private investment in affordable housing, the Mayor’s Office is exploring a number of avenues, including the creation of an affordable housing Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

The already announced 100 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness with chronic barriers to shelter. These units will be built with an attached homeless service center that will serve the entire unhoused population of Nashville with bathrooms, showers, and direct links to housing and other support services and agencies.

"Nashville is thriving in many ways, and that is a good thing as growth creates better-paying jobs and generates revenue for schools, roads, parks and libraries,” Mayor Briley said. “Yet the true measure of a great city is how it treats all of its citizens – making sure growth is balanced by continuing to invest in people. The Under One Roof 2029 initiative will help ensure we all move forward together.”

"When people talk about affordable housing, they can mean different things depending on their circumstances and needs," Briley continued. "Shelter is the most extreme and urgent need, but living near work and being able to keep a roof over your head while earning even the most modest full-time wage are also critically important. We need solutions for all of the above, and Under One Roof 2029 is a bold step in this direction.”

The $350 million in MDHA funding will be used to accelerate the Envision process, which is designed to increase access to affordable housing while remediating concentrated poverty in communities. The Envision process is currently underway at Cayce Place, Edgehill Apartments and Napier and Sudekum, but with the city’s investment, MDHA will be able to accelerate that work and more rapidly launch similar efforts at Cumberland View, Andrew Jackson and Cheatham Place. The local investment will allow MDHA to seek additional federal dollars to expand the number of affordable housing units built, creating more than 5,000 new homes at MDHA properties, with at least 1,000 “deeply affordable” units for those facing the most acute need plus another 1,600 affordable and workforce housing units.

“Today’s announcement is an extraordinary step forward for the city. Mayor Briley’s leadership is enabling us to leverage local dollars for the benefit of those most in need in Nashville,” said Charles Robert Bone, Chair of the MDHA Board of Directors. “Getting federal, state and local dollars to work together will enable us to get many more families into the homes they need. It also will put Nashville at the forefront of affordable housing efforts across the country.”

Under One Roof 2029 also commits an additional $150 million to the Barnes Fund over the next 10 years, expected to create at least 5,000 new units. A critical companion to the work of MDHA, 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. Mayor Briley recently hired social enterprise expert Hannah Davis to oversee the Barnes Fund.

“The Barnes Fund plays a critical role in empowering nonprofit housing developers to work with the city to create more affordable housing opportunities for people. It’s public-private partnership at its best,” said Kaki Friskics-Warren, Chair of the Metro Housing Trust Fund Commission, which oversees the Barnes Fund. “This significant, ongoing commitment of public dollars to the Barnes Fund will help build capacity within the nonprofit development community and kick it into higher gear than ever.”

The Under One Roof 2029 initiative also includes a previously announced commitment of $25 million to build 100 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness and a connected homeless service center to serve the entire unhoused population.

As a companion to the $500 million commitment of public funds, Mayor Briley also issued a challenge to the private sector to invest an additional $250 million to support Under One Roof 2029. Briley highlighted the fact that addressing the city’s affordable housing needs cannot be shouldered exclusively by the public sector. It is also a significant workforce development and quality of life issue that employers and private philanthropy must help address. The Mayor’s Office is exploring a number of avenues to facilitate greater private-sector partnership and investment in affordable housing. The Mayor has also committed to personally working with private-sector leaders to advance those discussions.

Mayor Briley also announced that Matt Wiltshire will leave his current role as director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development to become MDHA’s Chief Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, a new position at the agency. Wiltshire’s responsibilities will include overseeing MDHA’s overall strategy and strengthening coordination of public and private partners. Wiltshire will work closely with the Mayor’s Office and other community partners to help implement the Under One Roof 2029 initiative.

Wiltshire has led the city’s economic and community development efforts through three mayoral administrations. Prior to that, he worked for several years in the investment banking industry in both New York and Nashville. He is a graduate of MNPS schools and received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.

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What People Are Saying About Under One Roof 2029

“Nationwide, the lack of affordable housing means that too many people in our communities don’t have access to a safe, quality place to call home. Under Mayor Briley’s leadership, this historic, large-scale investment shows how locally driven solutions can serve as an effective blueprint for America’s cities, towns and villages looking to create housing opportunities for their residents."
Clarence Anthony
CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities

"This is a great day for Nashville. There is nothing more fundamental to one's quality of life than having a roof over your head and a place to call home. By stepping forward with such a significant commitment, it will enable the Barnes Housing Trust Fund and other investments to have even a greater impact on housing affordability in Nashville."
Marshall Crawford
The Housing Fund

"I commend Mayor Briley on the release of Nashville's new housing plan, Under One Roof 2029. Here in Boston, we know creating affordable housing and addressing housing costs is critical as we preserve the diversity and character that makes our city great. Boston looks forward to supporting Mayor Briley and Nashville, and sharing our own lessons from our Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 plan."
Mayor Martin Walsh
Mayor, City of Boston

“Mayor Briley is demonstrating leadership by moving forward with a coherent and well-organized approach to addressing affordable housing with the tools and resources that are at his disposal today. Given the size of the problem, it is vital that our state legislature enact a dedicated and sustainable funding source as well as an inclusionary zoning policy that will transcend mayoral administrations. I am committed to working on that goal, while supporting the immediate steps that Mayor Briley has laid out.”
John Deane
The John and Natasha Deane Family Foundation

“Under MDHA’s leadership, the Envision process has become a model for the country. Now, with additional support from local government and efforts to attract greater private-sector investment, we are optimistic that those efforts can accelerate. This is exactly the kind of partnership we want to encourage from local communities around the country. We look forward to our continued collaboration in Nashville with the goal of making sure those in need have housing.”
Sernorma Mitchell
HUD Nashville Field Office Director

"We know: Safe and stable housing is the first step toward a safe and stable life. I congratulate Mayor Briley on backing up his bold housing vision with the investments necessary to bring that vision to life. With this initiative, Nashville joins the growing list of cities who are giving housing the priority it deserves."
Mayor Muriel Bowser
Mayor of Washington, DC, and Chair, National League of Cities’ Housing Task Force

“Pinnacle has long supported and invested in efforts to make home ownership easier, as we see it as essential to building and sustaining strong neighborhoods and communities. We’re excited to hear more about the Under One Roof initiative, and particularly excited about efforts to strengthen public/private partnerships in this area.”
Rob McCabe
Pinnacle Financial Partners

“Congratulations to Mayor Briley and the City of Nashville for announcing a strong strategy to address affordable housing. In Atlanta, it is a part of our One Atlanta vision to build a holistic and inclusive approach to affordable housing. For our city, that means providing pathways to affordable and equitable housing for our legacy residents and all those who want to call Atlanta home. As communities around the country are focused on building thriving cities with accessible, safe, and affordable neighborhoods, we need to look to each other to build and share best practices.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mayor, City of Atlanta

“There are few issues more important for our city’s future and vitality than making sure people have a home. What Mayor Briley is proposing is historical. It puts us on a path to take meaningful action on this issue that is essential to our long-term success.”
Mark Deutschmann
Village Real Estate

“Few people know or appreciate that the federal government has given Nashville about $2 billion of real estate in recent years, by turning over title to the various “housing projects” that were built in the 1960s. This land is incredibly valuable because these parcels are located near downtown or on major highways. It is up to Nashville to decide how best to redevelop the land since it has not been freed of prior restrictions.”
Rep. Jim Cooper
U.S. House of Representatives

“We are excited by what we see Nashville doing on the affordable housing front. Nashville is showing what is possible when federal, state and local dollars are leveraged synergistically to their maximum benefit. We look forward to helping Mayor Briley, MDHA and others to make the Under One Roof 2029 initiative successful.”
Ralph Perrey
Tennessee Housing Development Agency

“This historic commitment from Mayor Briley is going to allow us to increase the number of Nashvillians we serve on a daily basis by creating new deeply affordable units. It will also assist us in accelerating the Envision process at our aging properties, which provides our families not only a new home but new opportunities in a mixed-use, mixed-income community.”
James Harbison
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency

“We will work aggressively to educate the business community on how to provide private-sector support, which could include business acumen, sweat equity, private investment, and advocacy to extend the impact of Mayor Briley’s historical commitment to affordable housing.”
Ralph Schulz
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce