New Affordable Housing Task Force Has Plenty to Tackle

Councilmember Freddie O’Connell has drafted a bill that would create a new office to manage Nashville’s housing and homelessness services needs. If created, the independent office would also be the new home for the Metro Homeless Impact Division, which is currently part of Metro Social Services.

The bill arrives a week after the departure of Homeless Impact Division director Judith Tackett. Tackett stepped down on Oct. 19 in an email to colleagues, ending years of work with Metro on homelessness issues.

Following Tackett’s resignation, advocates at Open Table Nashville — a nonprofit that does outreach work for people experiencing homelessness — called for the creation of an independent department or division of homelessness. They also noted it was one of Mayor John Cooper’s campaign promises.

O’Connell’s bill tasks the Office of Housing and Homelessness with promoting affordable housing in Davidson County, coordinating a community response to homelessness, providing staff and resources for Metro’s housing and homelessness services work, and assisting with the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing.

A copy of O’Connell’s bill was obtained through the Metro Council Office. The legislation is expected to be filed to the Metro Clerk’s office tomorrow.

Advocates from Open Table Nashville are also hosting a rally at the courthouse tomorrow at 2 p.m. calling for officials to create an office of housing and homelessness.

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