Now you can find affordable housing in Nashville

Nashville Affordable HousingEarlier this month our Mayor, Megan Barry, announced a first for Nashville.  Metro plans to give away 13 city properties and grant money to non-profit organizations committed to building affordable housing.  Deed restrictions ensure that the properties are offered for rent or sale at affordable prices for twenty years. 

These homes target families making less than 80% of the mean family income.  The properties are located in North Nashville, Buena Vista, Chestnut Hill and East Nashville.

With the sale of the old Convention Center, another $5 million was donated to the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing in Nashville.  The Barnes Fund gives money for construction and renovation projects that rent or sell below average market rates to families.

This is a good start for Nashville, and we will need to do more to solve this problem. 

The good news is that you do not have to participate in one of these programs to obtain affordable housing. 

Here are 5 Affordable Housing Alternatives for Nashville

  1. Many of the suburban communities surrounding Nashville have affordable housing.  The best ones sell quickly.  I recommend getting a real estate professional that specializes in your chosen community.  The best will network with other professional to find good homes as they enter the market.  The early bird gets the worm most of the time.

  2. If you prefer to live in an urban setting, then I would consider finding the next “it” neighborhood.  Ask your favorite real estate professional; what is the next “East Nashville” or “12 South.”  Typically, these areas are close to the city center and adjacent to a neighborhood in renewal.   Look where the investors are buying homes and lots, but have not started building.  Discover where the “urban pioneers” are moving. Buy early while the prices are affordable.

  3. HUD offers two programs for affordable housing.  The first is the $100 down program.   This helps homeowners buy properties with low down payments and the ability to escrow repairs.  Both programs are restricted to HUD homes that have been obtained through foreclosure.

  4. The second HUD program is called the Good Neighbor Next Door.  Teachers, police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians can get up to 50% off the list price of a home.  These properties are listed in specific neighborhoods targeted for revitalization.  The homes are offered for seven days only and require a three year occupancy agreement.  Check often as properties change weekly.

  5. MDHA, Metro Development and Housing Agency, works tirelessly for the residents of Nashville.  They have provided financing for developments in return for a percentage of “temporarily" affordable units in the building.  These units sell quickly when listed.  Some of the most popular buildings downtown participated in this program including:  The Veridian, The Icon in the Gulch, Kress, Werthan Mills, Encore, 5th and Main, and several others.  These units were had income limits for 5 - 7 years so they are close to expiring.  The first development (since before the housing crash) to get "true" condo financing was just approved this week.  Since 2008, most new buildings had to start as apartments and convert to condos when they sold a number of units.  MDHA also offers affordable rental units in the Rolling Mill Hills area of downtown Nashville. 

The process to find affordable housing is time consuming, somewhat difficult, but not impossible.  Like all good things in life, we have to work hard for them.  Find a professional who understands what Nashville has to offer, and let them guide you through the process. 

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