Regions Affordable Housing marks several new projects in Nashville
Submitted by Regions Bank
No matter what you call the bustling city of Nashville, its draw is unmistakable.
Nashville is home to more than 1.3 million people. And according to a local Fox 17 report in July, more than 100 people are making the move to this city each day, making it the 10th highest in growth among 56 metros with a population of at least 1 million people.
Home to major employers in the medical, auto and manufacturing industries, Nashville is also a well-known hub of the country music industry.
Despite the glitz and glamour, Nashville is not immune to impacts of poverty seen throughout major cities. In fact, according to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau, 14.5 percent of Nashvillians live below the poverty line. A NPR report said Nashvillians were ‘financially worse off’ in 2022, citing inflation and significant increases in cost of living, including a 20 percent increase in housing.
Support for affordable housing has become even more important for the city’s growing population.
Part of the Nashville community for 140 years, Regions has been part of the city’s affordable housing story for more than a decade. This investment represents more than $5 billion dollars and nearly 63,000 housing units in the Nashville MSA to-date.
Pathway Lending, a Community Development Financial Institution headquartered in Nashville, along with development partner Trent Development Group, broke ground on one of the most recent projects, Birchstone Village, in February 2023.
Nestled on 12.5 acres, this project marks the transformation of an existing South Inglewood government-subsidized residential complex. It is part of a larger redevelopment effort in Madison, Tennessee, just 8.2 miles north of downtown Nashville. Primarily residential, Madison is a suburb of Nashville with a mix of young and middle-aged adults, as well as young families.
“We are grateful to our partners who came together to make Birchstone Village a reality and bring sought-after, high-quality affordable housing to the residents of Nashville,” Clint Gwin, Pathway Lending’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Our long-standing commitment to affordable housing and experience financing it in Nashville and across the state brought us the opportunity to partner with Trent Development in the creation of Birchstone.”
Birchstone Village will consist of 228 units offering one-, two- and three-bedroom homes ranging from 780-1,494 square feet. All units will include a washer/dryer, dishwasher and full stainless steel appliance package, as well as access to a large playground, multi-purpose court, fitness center, commercial training kitchen in an 11,000 square foot community center, business center and learning center with free Wi-Fi.
“The community center will be dubbed ‘The FAM Center’ after Family Affair Ministries, our onsite nonprofit,” shared Alex Trent, president of Trent Development Group. “They will oversee and coordinate our onsite support programming which will be provided to all residents, from job training to supplemental education, among others.”
This project is scheduled for completion in late 2024.
“This important investment in Nashville’s affordable housing supply is made possible thanks to several groups who provided vital funding, resources, and support,” said Trent. “This project demonstrates the meaningful progress our community can make to address Nashville priorities when the private and public sectors work together.”
Just four miles south in the Nashville suburb of Inglewood, another new project, Highland East, will offer 238 affordable housing units in a seven-building residential complex just off Ben Allen Road. The community will include a clubhouse with a business center to support the educational and occupational needs of residents. The Clear Blue Company, a Nashville-based private equity real estate firm announced the beginning of construction on Highland East, its first ground-up affordable housing community, in July 2023.
This project is slated for completion in 2025.
“With the unwavering support of Regions and their commitment to our vision at Highland East, we’re able to construct more than just apartments – we’ll create opportunities for the workforce of Nashville,” said Nick Ogden, founder and CEO of The Clear Blue Company. “Working alongside an enormous team dedicated to putting our residents first, Regions was an integral player in making a complex project become a reality. At The Clear Blue Company, we believe that community is built on one rule: love your neighbor. Our work with Regions highlights the importance of solving the affordable housing crisis together for and with our neighbors.”
Homelessness in America and Nashville
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 12 million renters and homeowners pay more than 50 percent of their annual income on housing. A family with one full-time earner making minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States at fair-market rent.
National data published by the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that more than 550,000 people experienced homelessness in the United States on any given night.
According to a report by the City of Nashville, in 2022 there were approximately 1,900 individuals in the city experiencing homelessness. Of those, it noted that 634 persons were living outdoors or in places not fit for habitation, in cars or within the parks and streets of Nashville. That represents a 10 percent increase from 2019 and 2020.
“Regions’ work with committed, excellent developers to finance the creation of affordable housing is very much in line with Regions’ values,” said David Payne, co-head of Originations for Regions Affordable Housing. “Between Highland East and Birchstone Village, Regions helped facilitate the development of 450 affordable apartments, which will make a marked difference to the Nashville community and to these families specifically.”
Dedicated to fueling the affordable housing market in Nashville, Regions announced a $20 million investment to increase affordable housing options in Nashville and beyond in October 2023. This investment is in the form of a 10-year loan to Pathway Lending and highlights the bank’s commitment to creating more inclusive prosperity in Nashville.
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $147 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas , and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
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