The city of Knoxville plans to fund over $50 million for affordable housing over the next decade, according to legislation proposed by the mayor. The Affordable Housing Fund, as promulgated by Mayor Indya Kincannon, will commit a minimum of $5 million annually for the next decade to develop affordable housing.
The Knoxville City Council is considering the legislation that would make Kincannon’s goal possible. The legislation would create a trust fund account called the “Knoxville affordable housing fund.” If passed, the new fund will take effect immediately.
The legislation background declared that 1 in 3 Knoxville households pay too much for housing costs, which have reportedly increased over the years. It also stated that this affordable housing would revive the neighborhoods.
“Addressing these affordable housing concerns is a priority that supports not only the needs of local families, but also our community’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods that have experienced historical disinvestment, attract new business investment, and support workforce development, recruitment, and retention,” stated the legislation.
Knoxville Communications Director Kristin Farley clarified that $50 million was the baseline. The city may invest more into the fund. This year, Farley shared that an additional $8.2 million would be invested on top of the annual $5 million.
Kincannon’s 2020-21 budget appropriated $7.5 million initially for affordable housing, and continued the investment of $2.5 million for an affordable rent fund. The mayor identified affordable housing expansion as a top priority for her administration.
“High-quality and affordable housing is critical infrastructure for a diverse, thriving community and a healthy economy,” said Kincannon in a press release last month. “Creating this fund signals a firm, long-term commitment, which partners and advocates have asked for. We agree.”
An ongoing list of the completed, current, and planned affordable housing projects is available on the city’s website.
– – –
Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Knoxville Skyline” by Nathan C. Fortner. CC BY-SA 3.0.