As Nashville leaders decide on specific affordable housing rules, they’re inviting some of their toughest critics to be involved as part of a diverse 50-member team.
the Metro Council proposed “inclusionary zoning” policies to limit the prices of some share of newly built or renovated apartments and homes. This alarmed some developers and realtors, but now they’ve been invited to help shape the final policy.
Jarron Springer, CEO of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and a participant on the team, says only adding requirements on home providers won’t do.
“The policies that are created are going to have to provide incentives for developers, and the people that are on the front lines that are going to build these affordable housing units have to be in a position that it makes sense for their business,” Springer said.
He said there’s wide agreement that
creating more affordable housing is one of Nashville’s most pressing issues. But he said a movement to require that 14 percent of new units in large developments have capped prices was “arbitrary.”
His association requested more research, which is what they’re getting now. Springer said the process for brainstorming the rules feels fair thanks to consultant David Schwartz, who was hired to guide the effort.
“We’re not in the business of making one faction of the community angrier than the other,” Schwartz said
in the team’s first meeting. “We’re in the business of trying to find common ground.”
“We need to understand from the development community, for example, what has value to them? What kind of resources? What kind of incentives?”
The housing policy team will meet several times before the Metro Planning Department gives the council a specific policy to vote on in January.