The Nashville Metro Council voted on Tuesday night to approve Mayor John Cooper’s $50 million, four-part “Housing First” plan to address homelessness.
Following the Metro Council’s approval, Mayor Cooper said in a statement, “I am grateful to Council for overwhelmingly approving my $50 million plan to get our most vulnerable off the streets and into the stable housing. Homelessness is a decades-old challenge for Nashville, and I believe the size, scope, and sophistication of this plan meets the magnitude of the problem.”
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Cooper signed the legislation to pass the plan, a goal he had pursued since proposing the plan in September 2021.
“We have worked closely with national experts to carefully design a strategy based on a proven model that ramps up our ability to provide temporary housing, creates permanent supportive housing, and provides services like mental health care and addiction counseling to keep folks housed and safe,” said Mayor Cooper.
The plan consisted of four resolutions that were proposed and approved at the council meeting:
- $25 million for the distribution of low-cost loans to create affordable housing units.
- $9 million to go towards temporary housing for the homeless while they wait on permanent housing.
- $7 million to be set aside for competitive grants to encourage landlords and developers to lower criteria to get people into housing. Additionally, funds would create grants for housing for domestic violence victims and their families, and members of the LGBTQ community.
- $9 million to go towards hiring supportive services, such as counselors and case management teams, to give program participants the support needed to continue moving towards increased independence.
In 2020, an estimated 2,000 people were homeless in Nashville. Mayor Cooper hopes that, through this plan, they can work to reduce that number.
Mayor Cooper stated, “I want to thank the Homelessness Planning Council and the dozens of non-profit and community organizations throughout the city for their tireless work that has led us to this point. This is an enormous step for Nashville in our shared goal of becoming a city that works for every resident in every neighborhood.”
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Kaitlyn Osteen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Send Kaitlyn news tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper. Background Photo “Homeless People” by Graywalls. CC BY-SA 4.0.