Home Local News Mayor Freddie O’Connell, community partners launch Nashville Catalyst Fund

Mayor Freddie O’Connell, community partners launch Nashville Catalyst Fund

Fund launches with initial $75M investment for affordable housing loans

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Mayor Freddie O’Connell has joined the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT), First Horizon, the Metro Housing Division and other funding partners to launch the Nashville Catalyst Fund, a new tool to create, preserve, and develop more affordable housing.

Metro and partners created the Nashville Catalyst Fund to provide fast, flexible capital to mission-driven developers to enable them to move quickly in Nashville’s competitive real estate landscape. The fund will launch with an initial $75 million ($20 million from Metro, $50 million credit facility led by First Horizon, and $5 million from Vanderbilt University) with a goal to raise an additional $25 million.

Mayor Freddie O’Connell

“The Nashville Catalyst Fund is a public-private partnership that builds on our existing affordable housing tools, and we expect it will help preserve and create at least 3,000 affordable places to live in Nashville over the next 10 years,” said Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell. “The fund will provide fast, flexible loans to help affordable housing partners preserve affordable rental homes that would otherwise be lost to the market and increase affordable housing production so more Nashvillians have dependable housing for themselves and their families for the long-term.”

The loans from the fund will support affordable housing developers working to preserve and develop income-restricted housing for 30 years and beyond, as well as bringing unregulated housing into income and rent regulations, which ensures the population in need is benefiting the most.

“We know that to meet the goals of the Affordable Housing Task Force, we need to create 55,000 housing units by 2030,” said Metro Housing Director Angie Hubbard. “While we have made progress toward that goal, a true public-private partnership and tool like the Nashville Catalyst Fund ensures more swift execution of transactions so mission-driven developers can move quickly on projects to serve Nashvillians in need.”

“Nashville needs an all hands on deck approach to solving our affordable housing shortage,” said Hal Cato, CEO, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “The Catalyst Fund represents a new level of collaboration between philanthropy, business, and government towards a future where everyone in Nashville can have a place that they call home.”

Metro’s initial investment of $20 million come from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and after a competitive procurement process, Metro partnered with Forsyth Street Asset Management and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to set up the fund’s structure and find investors.

Built on national best practices, the fund offers loan products to mission-driven developers that are not available anywhere else in the market including acquisition loans, pre-development loans, and bridge loans. These loan products are designed to include and support non-profit and emerging BIPOC developers within the affordable housing sector and aide in jumpstarting these projects without the developer waiting to receive public subsidy or grant proceeds.

“First Horizon believes investing time and resources in the communities in which we operate leads to success for all,” said Carol Yochem, First Horizon Bank Region President. “We are proud to be the lead bank providing capital to the Catalyst fund. Affordable housing is imperative for the continued growth of our community and we are thrilled to be a partner in this initiative.”

The fund’s day-to-day management will be handled by Forsyth Street Asset Management in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Pillars Development, and additional support from Nelson Community Partners. An Investment Committee, led by Jim Gingrich will serve as the governing body for the lending decisions of the fund.

“High housing costs are a serious concern for many Nashville residents including our students, faculty, and staff,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “As a university deeply rooted and invested in our community, we are proud to help provide one more innovative option for developing affordable housing in Nashville.”

The initial $75 million investment can facilitate the creation or preservation of 3,000 or more units over the next decade. Due to the sustainable nature of the fund means that this initial investment will be recycled to over $300 million in investment over the next decade. The fund seeks an additional $25 million to support this work through ongoing fundraising.

To learn more about the Nashville Catalyst Fund, how to invest, or apply for a loan visit <www.nashvillecatalyst.org>.

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