NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Homelessness is a problem many cities are grappling with, and Music City is no exception.
Unfortunately, with the influx of people who move here and the cost of living increases, more and more people are left without accommodation.
Several councilors urge Mayor John Cooper to quickly hire someone to advocate housing policy.
Councilor Freddie O’Connell said two senior homeless department leaders had resigned. He wants the new homeless director to have a good understanding of housing policy in all areas.
He also wants the Mayor’s Office, Metro Social Services and Metro HR to act quickly to find permanent leadership to advocate Housing First policy.
O’Connell, along with several councilors, also supports a bill, BL2021-971, that would establish a unified housing and homelessness office.
He said there has never been a separate department exclusively focused on housing construction in the mayor’s office.
The new homeless director would lead this department and help develop guidelines to help those who are not housed and find it difficult.
“Well, if you fall out of the apartment and are suddenly homeless. If you are homeless for any length of time, what is right? Can you be relocated quickly? I would like someone who is aware of the elements of our strategic plan, which includes a housing-first approach that basically says, ‘We will find long-term solutions to this and be able to deliver housing,’ “says Metro council member named Freddie O’Connell.
This new bill will be presented at the council meeting on Tuesday evening and will need three readings.