Mayor Announces New Affordable Housing Program - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mayor Announces New Affordable Housing Program

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Dean discussed the need for affordable housing in his State of Metro address, saying it's key to a successful future.

While Nashville might have options for those who can't afford a home on their own, the mayor said those options are limited and waiting lists are long.

"Too many in our city are burdened by housing costs, meaning more than more 30 percent of their monthly income goes to their housing expense, forcing them to choose between paying their rent or buying food, buying food or buying basic needs for their family," said Dean during his State of Metro address.

In response, he announced plans for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is expected to generate 100 new affordable housing units, while improving the affordability of 200 existing units each year, all supported by grants and ongoing investments.

The focus will rehabilitate existing homes, while maintaining affordability and building mixed-use, mixed-income developments.

The trust fund has been named the Barnes Fund for Affordable Homes after fund advocate and lifelong Nashville resident Reverend Bill Barnes, who said it's important to create diverse communities and resist poverty in concentrated areas.

"It's very important that we have standard housing for people and that they would be dispersed, somehow diversify in neighborhoods so there isn't just homogeneous poverty," said Barnes.

The fund has been established with an initial $3 million, and supporters said this is just a start of something much greater.

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