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Mayor Cooper’s multi-million dollar recovery plan includes Affordable housing as a top priority

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Posted at 8:33 PM, Apr 14, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — $5 million is on the way to create more affordable housing in Nashville and it’s all part of Mayor John Cooper’s plan to help the city rebound from the pandemic.

In North Nashville, it may look like just another development but in reality, it’s housing with a purpose.

Pamela Sessions walked us through the future home of Renewal House and their new $7.5 million expansion project. The facility sits practically next door to where they have been for the past 25 years.

Sessions serves as CEO of the group that offers free housing for women recovering from addiction and the families they bring with them. Their motto is, “we treat them both.”

“A mom can come to Renewal House and bring her children and not have to worry about where she’s going to live,” Sessions said.

For the last 25 years, the group has helped families from across Tennessee stay together during addiction treatment. Right now their facility holds 17 units for roughly 50 families. This new expansion doubles the number of units.

To make this all possible, they’ve counted on the Barnes Fund through Metro Nashville. Since its inception in 2013, the fund has invested more than $54 million in affordable housing development. The fund which is named after Rev. Bill Barnes, who started the program, has created more than 2,200 family units to date.

The pandemic forced the city to hold off on their typical Barnes Fund contribution last year. Mayor Cooper explained to us last month, how affordable housing was still a top priority. After receiving a $10 million one-time Local Support Grant, Cooper committed half of that money to the Barnes Fund.

“We would not be able to do this project without the Barnes Fund and housing is an important and critical piece of the continuing services we provide,” Sessions said.

Sessions predicts the new facility will be complete by the end of the year. Phase 2 includes renovating the existing facility to add 20 units.