Nashville Measure Links Economic Incentives to Affordable Housing

A new proposal introduced before Nashville’s Metro Council would mandate that a contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund whenever the municipal government grants economic development incentives to corporations

A new proposal introduced before Nashville’s Metro Council would mandate that a contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund whenever the municipal government grants economic development incentives to corporations.

According to a report in the Nashville Tennessean, the proposal is linked to the upcoming council debate on the $15 million incentive package offered by Mayor David Briley to Amazon for a new downtown Nashville hub dubbed the “Operations Center of Excellence.” The e-commerce giant promised the development would bring 5,000 corporate jobs that pay an average of $150,000.

Council member Fabian Bedne, a Democrat who co-sponsored the proposal, stated he began planning the idea after the council approved a $275 million Major League Soccer stadium project last fall.

“We don’t look at the social impact of that incentive,” he said. “I know that incentives have a role to play, but for me it’s how we do it. How do we measure what it does and the impact it has on the city?”

If the Amazon incentives and the proposal are both approved, city would need to make a $15 million payment to the affordable housing fund.

“I think it’s what Nashville wants,” Bedne added. “People have been talking about equity.”

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