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Transit Should be Part of the Housing Discussion – The Tennessean

By Eric Hoke

Our population and job growth have exceeded NashvilleNext's projections and our housing costs have constantly been well above the national average since 2016. Faced with a surging population, lack of housing options, climate issues like the heat island effect, and gentrification challenges, we need more tools for managing Nashville’s growth and to encourage a strong transit-oriented development policy.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a neighborhood planning strategy that aims to create mixed-use buildings with appropriate density. This approach ensures that housing, office, commercial, and public spaces are conveniently located near mobility options. TOD promotes sustainable growth by supporting well-utilized transportation and provides access to essential services like food and recreation.

While adopted plans would suggest implementation of TOD around neighborhood centers, incentives for developers to create this type of housing is not enough. Tools like Metro’s grant program, the Barnes Fund, and the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit are great for building affordable housing but are only sometimes explicit about including transportation.

To support a quality of life we hope all Nashvillians can have, it is critical for low-income households to have convenient access to transportation services. If developers choose to focus mixed-use housing projects along well-used transit corridors they can justify eliminating expensive unnecessary parking.


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