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Mayor John Cooper Announces Important Additions to Metro Fast Track Permitting Process for Affordable Housing Developers

Chris Song

Mayor Cooper today announced important additions to Metro’s fast track permitting process for affordable housing developers. On February 18, 2020, Metro Council successfully amended the original fast track legislation to include inspections and certificates of occupancy by the Department of Codes and Building Safety for qualifying affordable housing developments.

“Nashville’s housing developers are important partners in adding more accessible units into Nashville’s housing market, and our affordable housing projects deserve prioritization,” said Mayor Cooper. “Just as these affordable units remove barriers for our lower-income, working families, this fast track legislation is removing barriers for the hard-working developers to help get these homes built as quickly as possible.”

The original fast track legislation was created in the interest of adding as many affordable housing units throughout Davidson County as possible, and the inclusion of more departments will get more units open more quickly. Since the initial fast track permitting process was implemented in March 2019, permit wait times for developers have decreased, with some developers experiencing an expedited wait time down from 4 months to 6 weeks.

“The council’s efforts to encourage more affordable housing in Nashville is commendable,” said Bill Herbert, Director of Metro Codes. “As a department, we’re proud to do our part by prioritizing affordable housing development and adjusting our permitting process to move these important projects to the front of the line. The Codes Department is happy to make this adjustment in order to incentivize affordable housing in Davidson County.”

The fast track ordinance directs the Metropolitan Planning Department, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Codes and Building Safety, Metro Water Services, and the Nashville Fire Department to develop and implement a prioritization process for the departmental review of permit applications and related reviews for affordable housing projects as identified in BL2019-1491.

“Anytime you can streamline a process and make it more efficient for the private sector to conduct business, the results are cost savings and the ability for an organization to more quickly respond to the needs of the markets it serves,” said Chase Cain, Development Coordinator at LDG Development. “The ordinance the Mayor has introduced is tangible example of these benefits and will allow both the private and public sectors to achieve our common goal of providing more affordable options to the working families who need it.”

More information about the fast track legislation