The Metro Council meeting on Tue 13 June voted in favor of the $25 million bond for affordable housing. Thanks for writing to or calling your council member.
Nashville has a crippling shortage of affordable housing.
According to the Housing Nashville report from the Mayor's office:
In 2000 there was a 2,000 unit SURPLUS
By 2015 there was a DEFICIT of 18,000 units
Incredibly, the funds assigned to help build affordable housing are currently under threat.
- The Mayor has proposed a $25 million bond to preserve affordable housing.
- The Capital Spending Plan authorizes $10 million for the Barnes Fund.
These are small amounts compared to the total Nashville economy. Remember other budgets like the Capital Improvement Budget plan to spend $150 million over 6 years on a professional soccer stadium! Affordable housing investments are in doubt and at risk of being cut this coming Tuesday, June 13 at Metro Council.
- Some members might want to cut or reduce the $25 million amount
- Some want to defer this whole approval until much later in the year
Let the council know it is time to stop playing games with the lives of our friends and neighbors.
1. SHOW UP TO THE COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday 13 June 6pm: Show up to the Council Meeting that night at the Council Chamber in the Historic Metro Courthouse, One Public Square in downtown Nashville to show your opposition to cutting funding for affordable housing.
There will not be space for public comment on the agenda, and sign waving is not permitted. You can bring a piece of paper or cardboard measuring 8.5x11in or smaller that says "More funding for affordable housing". Pin or tape this to your shirt.
2. CALL THE COUNCIL
Phone your local council member. Here's a short script you can use:
Hello, my name is [your name] and I live in zip code [zip]. I'm very concerned about the shortage of affordable housing in Nashville. I'd like to encourage you to support the Mayor's $25 million bond issue and the $10 million budgeted for the Barnes Fund. Please don't reduce these funds or delay approval. Thank you.
3. WRITE TO THE COUNCIL
You can write the entire council by going to the following link, typing in your info and response, and choose email “Entire Metro Council” in Step 2.
In the subject line, add “Support the Affordable Housing Bond issue and More”.
Individual responses are best, but here’s one example of a letter created by Open Table Nashville. You can use it as is, or modify it into your own words.
Dear Councilmember(s) __________,
I write to ask you to support the Mayor’s plans for a $25 million bond issue to preserve affordable housing in the capital expenditure budget, the $10 million allocation for the Barnes Fund NOW without delay or at the risk of being cut. It is urgent that Nashville do more. Our neighbor families are being pushed into poverty and homelessness by the lack of affordable housing.
1) The need: Nashville has 23,000 people experiencing homelessness, including 8,000 schoolchildren (the some 2,300 count you hear in the news is a 6 hour, one night count that doesn’t include most of the children). But this is not just about those experiencing homelessness. HALF of Nashville’s WORKERS make less than $31,000 per year. It takes 3 full time minimum wage jobs to afford a $750 one bedroom apartment—and there are few of those. Every council district had over 40% of cost burdened renters. As of 2015, there is a need for 18,000 units of affordable according to the Mayor’s recent report. According to the GNAA, last year Nashville had some 16,000 rental units under construction, but fewer than 600 were affordable, and we lost more than 2000 affordable units for the second year in a row. People are being driven from the city they have lived in for generations, into deep poverty, or onto the streets because they cannot afford housing.
2) I support the Mayor’s planned $25 million bond issue to preserve affordable housing, the $10 million for the Barnes Fund, and the proposed Land Trust. Council should pass these, but they do not go far enough.
3) Housing should be a priority: affordable housing will allow children to do better in school, and reduce pressures that produce hunger, medical crises, homelessness, and crime, all costly to the city. Studies have shown over and over that housing the chronic homeless saves $21,000 per year, and with 23,000 people unhoused, this is a savings of $483 million per year. It would nearly pay for the housing needs in one year. Even at half the savings, it would pay for itself in two years.
Nashville has spent more than enough in tax increment financing and bond issues on luxury hotels for tourists, luxury condos for the wealthy, and sports stadiums—it must be a city for ALL of its people. It is time to stop playing games with the lives of our friends and neighbors.
4. EMAIL THE MAYOR
You can also keep awareness of your concerns high in the Mayor's office. Email the Mayor by going to this link and ask her to do more:
SUPPORT OUR WORK
With the increasing number of calls for organizing support, our small team of volunteer/in-kind organizers are functioning beyond capacity. HomesForAll is in desperate need of a dedicated staff person to aid in on-the-ground organizing and communications. We are so thrilled to be hiring Kennetha Patterson! ...but we need YOUR help reach our fundraising goal!