Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Metro Nashville City Council Member-At-Large Steve Glover to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Metro Nashville’s intent on throwing more money the city doesn’t have on affordable housing.
Leahy: It is fitting, Crom, that our guest on the newsmaker line right now is Metro Council Member-At-Large, Steve Glover.
Leahy: Hello, Steve. And Merry Christmas to you.
Glover: Merry Christmas to you guys as well.
Leahy: You want to talk a little bit about what’s going on with the affordable housing proposals under consideration and Metro, what can you tell us about the latest?
Glover: I’m not voting for it. I was reading the analysis, and it looks like we’ve put in, like $59 million on affordable housing. I don’t think we’ve still got a real handle on it. That’s number one. Number two, we’re using a ton of COVID money out of it. And for whatever reason, people seem to think, well, that’s federal money, that doesn’t affect us.
Yes, it does. It’s money that affects us all. I’m frustrated with the affordable housing efforts because I think there are other ways it can be done that are more cost-efficient. But of course, they’re just going to spend money. That’s all they know how to do, is spend money.
Leahy: Steve, tell us exactly what they’re going to do with that $59 million.
Glover: Well, they’ve already used quite a bit of it, but this is another $20 million. That’s a good question. I really can’t figure it out. (Leahy laughs) I mean, I wish I could tell you.
Carmichael: Where have they built the affordable housing?
Glover: Well, I don’t know where that’s going to go exactly, either. You have to spend the money first before you really know where it goes. Isn’t that the Democratic way?
Carmichael: So they spent $29 million on affordable housing, and you can’t identify where it went and nobody else can either?
Glover: No. I know there are some projects around town where the money has been utilized for it. But as far as the number of doors and everything, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a report. Now there may be one that exists. I just don’t think I’ve seen it.
Leahy: I don’t understand why it’s the role of the city to spend $59 million on “affordable housing.” What’s the political philosophy behind that, Steve?
Glover: Can you say, Democrats? (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Let’s spend some money!
Glover: Yes. I mean, money that we don’t have. Let’s go out and spend money we don’t have. I don’t mean to make it sound so simple, but that’s just it. You’re exactly right. We have thousands of acres of land in Nashville. And developers, they’ve got to have the land in order to build things.
We could utilize some of that land that we may never, ever use and let them use it, as opposed to giving them money. It actually accomplishes more. It accomplishes a tax base for us. And it actually does do affordable housing. So I don’t get it. Apparently, I’m not smart enough to understand it.
Carmichael: So what I think you just said is you’re saying Metro owns thousands of acres in Davidson County.
Glover: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Carmichael: Now that’s interesting. I didn’t know that.
Leahy: That’s an asset.
Carmichael: Did you know that, Michael?
Leahy: I didn’t know that.
Carmichael: So you’re saying thousands of acres that doesn’t have any use for them other than the fact that Metro owns it?
Glover: I’m not going to say there are thousands that don’t have any use forms because they’ll tell you they do. But there is a bunch of land out there that I’ll be surprised if we ever use it.
Leahy: Metro Council Member-At-Large Steve Glover, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for being with us all throughout the year. And I have two words for you. Are you ready?
Glover: Yeah. Go for it.
Leahy: Merry Christmas!
Glover: Merry Christmas to you, guys.
Carmichael: Thanks, Steve.
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