Four Metro Council members have proposed legislation that would reduce permit fees as an economic incentive for developers willing to build affordable workforce housing.
At-large Councilman Jerry Maynard, lead sponsor of the bill, said the ordinance would be filed by Wednesday morning. He said council members Megan Barry, Mike Jameson and Charlie Tygard have co-sponsored the bill.
“What we’re doing as a council is trying to help working families in a time of economic financial crisis,” Maynard said. “We need to get more affordable workforce housing, both in single-family, multi-family and rental properties.”
Maynard said the reduction would be applied to up-front construction related fees, including Metro sewer, water, codes and planning fees. Developers eligible to receive the discount would be those who are willing to building houses priced at $154,000 or less, he said.
“By doing a discount on those particular fees, we hope that those who are involved in workforce housing development will continue to do more, and those who are not doing workforce housing development will get into workforce housing development,” Maynard said.
According to Maynard, the median housing cost in Davidson County is more than $200,000, leaving many families looking elsewhere for housing options.
“They’re going to Cheatham County, Sumner County, Wilson County,” he said. “We’re providing an incentive to say to those developers, ‘Let’s make sure we keep Nashville working families in Nashville to live, work and play.’ ”
With more than 300 Davidson County homes destroyed during flooding in May, Maynard said affordable housing options are needed now more than ever. He said the permit fee reduction could also help spur infill development in blighted areas that are often ignored by developers.
“It’s a win-win,” he said of the bill. “It helps the flood victims, and it helps the government because we can have families that were leaving the county stay in the county.”