NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Affordable housing is back on the agenda for Metro Nashville leaders as families struggle to get by. There’s a bill on Tuesday’s council meeting agenda asking to create a public dashboard on how the city is addressing the issue of housing affordability.
The ordinance breaks down the numbers behind the problem. It says the costs of housing in Nashville are growing significantly more than incomes. The average asking monthly rents in Nashville increased 123% and the typical mortgage payment increased 126% from July 2012 to July 2022.
According to the U.S. census, 49% percent of renters and 23% of homeowners in Nashville spent more than 30% of their incomes on housing costs in 2021 and are considered cost burdened.
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“The biggest struggle, of course, is the amount that rent has increased over the last couple of years, you know, since COVID, peaked,” said Councilmember Erin Evans, who signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. “Then also whenever housing is coming under construction, how expensive it is, that there are some apartment complexes that you would not think would be as expensive as they are, but they’re almost as expensive as some of the luxury new builds in our community. That’s a couple of the things that I’m hearing from people.”
The bill’s sponsor — Councilmember Burkley Allen — said Metro is taking steps to address affordable housing and this is a way for residents to track what’s happening.
“I think it’s really important to have a public facing dashboard that just list all the properties and the different tools that we have, we’re actually creating, for two reasons: One, so people can see that something is actually happening. We are getting some good stuff done. But then to to measure that against what the need is, which is huge. “