Metro Council just raised the limit on the number of unrelated people who can live together in the same home.
The effort to make this change began last September, when five Lipscomb students rooming together in a four-bedroom home learned that they were facing eviction for overcrowding. At the time, no more than three unrelated people were legally allowed to live in the same household.
In response, East Nashville Councilmember Sean Parker introduced a bill to raise that cap. The Metro Planning Commission originally recommended raising the occupancy limit to seven, but several other councilmembers had concerns about increased parking shortages, crowding, noise and traffic.
After more than seven months, seven deferrals, several amendments and plenty of debate, Metro Council landed on a compromise. They passed a code change allowing up to four unrelated people to live in the same household, or up to five if the home has four or more bedrooms.
This change will allow people to split rent more ways, which District 6 Councilmember Brett Withers hopes will help with housing costs and access.
“We know that we do have a housing crisis in our city. We do need to make it more possible for more people to find housing. We do know that it’s difficult sometimes to get new housing approved,” he said during the council meeting on Tuesday night.
The code change passed 22-9 with a single abstention. The code still does not place limits on families related by blood, marriage or law.