New micro homes in Wedgewood-Houston small step toward more affordable housing in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The median price for a home in the Nashville metro now sits at $400,000, up more than $50,000 from the start of the year, according to Greater Nashville Realtors.

As Nashville grows, it’s becoming harder for citizens to find a home, let alone an affordable one.

On Tuesday, a small step was made toward big change, as four energy efficient micro homes look for owners on Nashville’s Southeast side.

“This is the kind of thing that we want,” Zulfat Suara, a metro Councilwoman said during a celebration and ribbon cutting for the completion of the Wharf Avenue Development in Wedgewood-Houston.

The affordable, 550 square-foot, one-bedroom homes were designed to be 50 percent more efficient than the average house, keeping energy bills as low as $30 a month and a mortgage payment estimated to be less than $1,000 a month.

“The sales price is $189,000,” Eddie Latimer said, CEO of Affordable Housing Resources. “But you could buy it for a mortgage about $145,000 to $150,000, which would put you under $1000 dollars a month.”

We’re told the homes were built to save homeowners $630-$744 annually in utility costs.

“We’re hoping that maybe a way we can increase affordability because costs are getting worse. Land is getting worse,” Latimer said. “By bringing utility bills down, it’ll make it more affordable for our workforce to find housing they can live in.”

The idea started years ago with Auburn’s architecture school starting its ‘rural studio,’ creating $20,000 homes for an impoverished Alabama community. The program since expended into urban communities like Nashville.

This year, the mayor is putting $30 million in affordable housing, that’s about 60 more percent more than what we’ve ever done, and that is understanding there’s a lot to be done,” Zulfa said. 

As Nashville home prices continue rising, those working to combat the issue admit the micro-home development doesn’t solve the crisis itself, but it’s a start.

“There’s a lot to be done, and for the first time, I’m so excited that were not just talking about problems, we’re looking at the living solution and to that I am thankful,” Zulfat said. 

Latimer says they hope to start building 2-bedroom affordable homes at the end of this summer.

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