Mayor Indya Kincannon’s proposed 2021-22 budget continues and builds on the City’s long-standing commitment to support Knoxville families by investing in safe, high-quality and affordable housing options.
The budget proposes to spend more than $8.1 million toward affordable-housing projects in the upcoming year. The budget is accompanied by a proposed ordinance to establish the Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund, a $50-million City commitment over the next 10 years to support a variety of different projects and activities that address local housing needs.
Developed in partnership with local housing advocates and stakeholders, the Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund builds on the City’s consistent, significant investment in affordable housing projects over the last decade.
“High-quality and affordable housing is critical infrastructure for a diverse, thriving community and a healthy economy,” says Mayor Kincannon. “Creating this fund signals a firm, long-term commitment, which partners and advocates have asked for. We agree. The proposed ordinance would provide $5 million per year as a minimum amount; we're going well beyond that with $8.1 million proposed in the first year.”
The Fund will receive and disburse local funds to support different types of projects and activities that address the affordable housing needs of extremely low-, low- and moderate-income households in Knoxville. As designed, the fund would allow flexibility to support existing affordable housing programs as well as new types of efforts that may emerge, such as community land banks and land trusts. The proposed ordinance also creates a fund advisory committee to provide feedback on housing proposals and community needs.
In its first year, the Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund would provide $8,177,860 to eligible uses, including a new staff position for a Housing Finance Specialist; $2.5 million for the existing Affordable Rental Development Fund; $3,781,900 to the Austin Homes Revitalization; and $1.5 million specifically for development of permanent supportive housing, which is critical to providing housing for many individuals who struggle with chronic homelessness.
In addition to the new Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund, as in past years, the FY21/22 budget allocates more than $1 million of local funds directly to prevent homelessness and address the needs of those experiencing homelessness, including street outreach, support for The Foyer, a low-barrier shelter managed by Volunteer Ministry Center, and grants for homeless service providers.
Annually, the City receives Federal funds to address low-income community needs including homelessness (CDBG, HOME and ESG) and allocates them to various programs and activities. The total Federal funding expected across the FY21 and FY22 fiscal years totals more than $4 million.
Mayor Kincannon’s budget will be presented for first reading at City Council on Tuesday, May 4. Legislative budget hearings are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, May 13-14, with a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 14. A second Council vote on the proposed budget is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18.
Visit KnoxvilleTN.gov/budget for more details, including a summary of how Mayor Kincannon’s budget supports her administration’s five key priorities: public safety; a clean and resilient future; healthy and connected neighborhoods; thriving businesses and good jobs; and good governance.
Visit KnoxvilleTN.gov/development to learn more about the City’s ongoing efforts to support affordable housing with local and federal funds via several partnerships, programs and projects.