NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Mayor John Cooper says Nashville’s housing needs are urgent. It’s why he created the Affordable Housing Task Force at the beginning of this year, comprised of area experts to address the affordable housing deficit in Music City.
Though the task force’s work is just getting started, other work, through the non profit, Affordable Housing Resources, is already being done.
Four micro-homes and two three-bedroom affordable homes are currently on the market, with four more three-bedroom homes being completed in March. Built by Affordable Housing Resources (AHR), these homes are one of the many ways AHR is working to solve the affordable housing crisis in Nashville.
“What we’re trying to do is create models so that you can get a home with a decent mortgage; $1,000-$1,100,” Eddie Latimer said, CEO of AHR and member of Nashville’s Affordable Housing Task Force.
Latimer says the four micro-homes were designed by Auburn University’s Rural Studio with the intent of figuring out how to build an affordable home and keep the energy sustainable so electric costs remain low.
According to Zillow, metro Nashville’s typical home values as of January 2021, was $304,571. They were $279,733 the previous year. Five years ago, in January of 2016, typical home values were $208,059. Ten years ago, in January 2011, typical home values were $170,309.
As more and more wealthy out-of-towners move here for more affordable housing, it’s fueling a rise in homelessness or home-owners and renters to be more cost-burdened.
Economists say the limit of single-family zoning, while encouraging multi-family developments, will make matters even worse.
“Californians show up in your market and have 50% more money to put into housing than any of the locals do so that just drives costs up land especially that’s our big challenge,” Latimer said.
In addition to all of this, the cost of materials, especially lumber, is on the rise.
“Everybody is going to have to have a will, a resolve to create [affordable housing]. It’s not going to happen on its own,” Latimer said.
Since forming more than 30 years ago, AHR has assisted more than 17,000 people buy their first home as well as developed and sold more than 1,400 single-family homes.