Council members want even affordable housing distribution

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 1:00am
A trio of Metro Council members are looking at a plan to spread affordable housing across Davidson County. File

The three district Metro Council members who say their constituents are most affected by the uneven distribution of affordable housing are drafting a resolution to reverse the trend and spread such developments throughout Davidson County.

In a letter to fellow Council members over the weekend, District 3 Councilman Walter Hunt said he, along with District 1 Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr. and District 2 Councilman Frank Harrison, wants to create a method to distribute affordable housing developments evenly throughout the county.

The issue has been a hot one on the heels of the proposed Park Preserve development proposed by Habitat for Humanity, which would put 350 units in Hunt and Harrison’s districts. The development would be largest Habitat project in the country.

The first phase of the project had 34 units and was approved by the Planning Commission last week.

“We felt that it is appropriate for the district Council members to bring this legislation in that Districts 1, 2 and 3 are the ones most affected,” Hunt’s letter said. “These districts currently contain an enormous number of Section 8, Habitat and halfway houses.”

Hunt’s letter did not offer specifics for how to create a method to spread affordable housing developments around. It’s a conundrum that has faced those in the affordable housing industry for some time.

Chris McCarthy, the director of the local Habitat office, said affordable housing comes by means of affordable land, which can be had in those districts.

Hunt said Habitat was being discriminatory by moving into mostly black neighborhoods without attempting to offer affordable housing options throughout the county.

The first phase of Park Preserve already had its proper zoning in place, leading to approval by a cautious Planning Commission. Habitat leaders have met with Hunt, Harrrison and nearby neighborhood associations to assuage persisting fears that the massive affordable housing development will hurt property values.

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By: eastnashville37207 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Well of course MDHA want this. They want to bleed the every day working tax paying citizens just like ACORN. The Department of Housing and MDHA needs to also be investigated by the FBI for Federal Fraud.Kudos to which ever media who reports the criminal activity going on in MDHA. Renting through government assisted rentals, funded from federal and state money is illegal and is federal fraud and MDHA and the idiot council members are all corrupt and for what to do nothing other than scam money.Mark Bellinger is well aware of the corruption within MDHA and the MNPD and was going to report it during May sweeps a couple years ago but the higher ups with channel 5 stopped him dead in his tracks from doing the story.Will we ever live long enough to see truth in reporting again??

By: sidneyames on 12/31/69 at 7:00

There are affordable options throughout the county. The first step is getting a job; the second step is cleaning up credit ratings and the third step is paying your bills. So get with it, people and pay your bills so you can rent in a nice neighborhood.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Hey id, I think they want to place a few of those developments in Hermitage....

By: RTungsten on 12/31/69 at 7:00

This will not hurt property values...it will destroy them. Poor people should move OUT of Nashville. There is plenty of space in the rural areas.

By: gruntz on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Mr. Hunt is kidding, right? Habitat for Humanity is discriminating? Don't make me laugh out loud. What Habitat for Humanity does is the OPPOSITE of discrimination!!

By: morpheus120 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Wow, the hatred towards poor people (and black people) is particularly high today at the NCP. Must've been a bad day for the McCain/Palin campaign. Again.

By: frogmild on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Government getting involved in the housing market and forcing certain types of houses in certain areas will be just as disastrous as when government got involved and forced lenders to make bad housing loans.