NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There are 200 people already approved for housing through federal vouchers that can't get into units because there's none available.
Nashville's homeless problem is, in part, about a lack of space. There are 200 people approved for Section 8 housing. However, the wait times to get an apartment can be as long as eight months or more.
Metro has difficulty convincing landlords to participate in the voucher program, even with incentives to do so.
However, there's one developer who said it's one of the best parts about his portfolio.
"It's more of a low risk high yield margin as part of the business," said Waddell Wright of W. Wright & Company.
Wright operates all kinds of housing across the state, from low to high income people. He said he likes having Section 8 housing available, not only because morally he feels like it's the right thing to do, but because the voucher money is guaranteed every month.
During the pandemic he said other properties have had people not paying for up to a full year.
He said he's heard people say they worry about getting bad tenants.
"I've had some really good tenants on the Section 8 program," said Wright. "There's bad ones every where you go. I've had bad rich people, I've have bad middle class people, I've had bad low income people."
While he said he know he could simply improve the three complexes he currently manages, it's helpful to the city. Also, the tenants have to be clean of drugs and alcohol to be a part of the program.
He also thinks part of the problem is Nashville's popular real estate market.
"I think it's just the market. There's not enough properties out there to be had," he said. "We're a tourist city. And every weekend there's planes full of people coming to party and drink and listen to music. That's competing with a lot of our housing stock."