NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – This is one of the biggest challenges in trying to help homeless people: how to find permanent housing for them.

As Metro lawmakers set to consider a $50 million plan to tackle homelessness, a specific program that is part of Mayor John Cooper’s plan aims to end homelessness in Nashville.

An apartment is often the first step for many on the path to home ownership.

But even to get an apartment in Nashville, tenants must meet many landlord requirements.

Elisabeth Wiede is part of the Low Barrier Housing Collective.

Although she does not work for the mayor’s office, she partners with Metro by running the program.

“Many homeless people may have previous evictions on their record, criminal history, low income, all sorts of things like that,” Wiede said.

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The collective’s goal is to negotiate with landlords to be flexible with some of these requirements so that they let someone rent an apartment who otherwise might not qualify. In return, landlords can claim signing bonuses and can get money back beyond a security deposit or even get paid for rent if a tenant who signs with them breaks their lease prematurely or has other problems.

“I think everyone goes through difficulties in their lives and a big part of that collaboration is that we all believe housing is a right,” Wiede said. “And so we’re working to make sure everyone feels supported through the application and hiring process.”

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The collective hopes that the $7 million for which it is planned can help increase or provide more bonuses to owners.


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