Sep 22, 2022 - Politics

Cooper pitches plan to fight homelessness

Illustration of Nashville City Hall with lines radiating from it.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Mayor John Cooper pushed Metro Council in a speech Wednesday to approve his plan to spend $50 million in federal pandemic relief funds to combat homelessness.

Details: Cooper unveiled the proposal during his State of Metro address earlier this year. After being deferred, four linked pieces of legislation are up for a vote soon. He proposes to spend:

  • $25 million on new affordable housing units;
  • $9 million for support services including addiction and mental health treatment;
  • $9 million for gap housing administered by the Homeless Impact Division;
  • And $7 million for grants to incentivize landlords, property owners and developers to relax their criteria and approve housing for homeless people.

What he's saying: "We have a moral imperative to do better, and have a plan that meets the magnitude of the problem," Cooper said during his speech at the Bellevue United Methodist Church. "That's what this plan does."

Zoom out: The city's work to combat homelessness has been hampered in the last year by management turnover at the Homeless Impact Division. The longtime director left the agency a year ago, and her interim replacement stepped down earlier this month.

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