NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Finding a place to live in Nashville is getting harder and more expensive. Mayor John Cooper wants to change that.
Nashville's booming housing market is pricing people out more often.
"I am solid middle class. I work three jobs,” Eric Patton, a Nashville resident said.
Searching for a house in Davidson County is not easy. Eric Patton feared he was going to be priced out.
"I was looking in the under $250,000 range and there was maybe five houses at a time in the entire county,” Patton said.
Patton finally found a house in Old Hickory in his budget.
“It's a little bit out from where I wanted to be, but I'm happy to have something,” Patton said.
The struggle of finding an affordable home is becoming common. Metro Council Member Zulfat Suara wants to fix that problem.
"These are our neighbors. We hear the stories. We see it and so I don't think we can kick it down the road,” Suara said.
Mayor John Cooper plans to set aside $37.5 million for affordable housing. It’s from his proposed budget and pending American Rescue Plan money.
Cooper claims it would more than triple the city’s investment in affordable housing.
"We have to ask the question, how do we sustain it going forward?,” Suara said.
The Mayor took some recommendations from Metro’s Affordable Housing Task Force. He wants to use $10 million in federal funds to create a Catalyst Housing Fund. It would help preserve affordable homes.
"This will help keep those units that are currently affordable stay affordable for the long term,” Mick Nelson with Metro’s Affordable Housing Task Force said.
For Patton, he’s glad to see the issue become a priority as more people move to Nashville.
"It is absolutely wonderful that we're flourishing and attracting new business and I'm so happy about that, but we have got to remember the people who made this town,” Patton said.
To sustain the Mayor’s ideas in the long term, Council Member Suara is proposing to use half of the property taxes from Oracle each year and put them toward housing.
The proposed budget will still need to go before the council.