Affordable housing task force formed
Group to focus on policy, access, financing, land use

(l-r) Mayor John Cooper, Councilmember Zulfat Suara, Dr. Paulette Coleman, Kia Jarmon, and Lethia Mann.

Mayor John Cooper is engaging 21 housing experts in his mission to create better and more affordable housing for Nashville.

The group will meet on Thursday, Jan. 21. Their recommendations will inform the 2022 fiscal year budget plan that Mayor John Cooper will make later this year to Metro Council.

“Nashville’s housing needs are urgent,” Mayor John Cooper said. “By working together and listening to one another, we can find solutions that work best for Nashville’s neighborhoods.”

Mayor John Cooper’s team, as well as the Metro Planning Department, the Metro Development and Housing Authority (MDHA) and other city agencies will support the task force as they focus on:

                                                      Policy

  • How can Nashville preserve and create affordable housing that benefits all residents at different income levels?
  • How can the city tie affordable housing to other community investments, such as transportation, libraries and schools?
  • How can nonprofit organizations better align their efforts and develop stronger relationships with for-profit builders?

                                                      Access

  • How can Metro make it easier for Nashvillians who need affordable housing to get it?

                                             Financing

  • What tools are missing from Nashville’s affordable housing ‘toolbox?’
  • What requests should Nashville make to state and federal partners? What has worked in other cities?

                                             Land Use

  • What policies can help residents remain in their neighborhoods, even as those neighborhoods change?

“With their extensive experience and deep expertise, this group will identify creative, cost-effective financing options and policies to help Nashville meet its growing housing needs,” Mayor Cooper said.

The task force will meet virtually at 5 pm on January 21. Recordings of all task force meetings will be posted to <nashville.gov>.

Cooper has asked the group to make recommendations on how to track the creation of affordable housing units, in keeping with his commitment to transparency.

“This task force represents an important step toward meeting Nashville’s pressing housing needs,” Metro Council Member Burkley Allen said. Allen and Metro Council member Zulfat Suara will serve on the task force.

“I look forward to working with my colleague, Council member Suara, and with the other members of this task force to make recommendations to Mayor Cooper and the Metro Council,” Allen said.

As they hear from counterparts in peer cities, task force members will also work with residents who have lived experiences to share about what it’s like to need, seek and find affordable housing in Nashville.

“Nashvillians need help,” Kay Bowers, an MDHA board member, said. Bowers will serve on the task force.

“I’m pleased to be part of a diverse group with the skills, knowledge, and, most of all, commitment to find real solutions to our urgent housing affordability problems,” Bowers said. “I could not be more pleased that Mayor Cooper has recognized that now is the time for Nashville to act.”

Mick Nelson, founder/CEO of Nelson Community Partners, and Edward Henley III, principal and project executive at Pillars Development, LLC, will co-chair the task force.

“Nashville’s housing needs are critical. Mayor Cooper has assembled a group with the experience and the expertise to identify meaningful solutions to those challenges,” Henley said. “I am eager to get to work and excited by the impact we will make.”

Other notables on the task force include: Dr. Paulette Coleman, Kia Jarmon, and Lethia Mann.