With the cost of living on the rise, Franklin could have new affordable housing units as early as 2022.
The Franklin Housing Authority is planning to tear down 72 currently existing affordable housing units to rebuild 100 new, multifamily units on the west side of Franklin near Jim Warren Park.
The townhomes and multifamily units will range in size from one to five bedrooms on a 7.5-acre plot of land, with an area for a park included and proximity to public transportation. The project, located at 1101 Shawnee Drive, bears the cost of $20 million coming from low-income housing tax credits.
All that is needed for the project to move ahead is the approval of a minor rezoning request, which city staff say is supported by Envision Franklin.
The FHA is asking to change the boundaries of the recently completed Chickasaw Place community, which is adjacent to Cherokee Place, to accommodate the redevelopment.
Units in the Chickasaw community are reserved for seniors and became available for lease in December of 2019.
The Franklin Housing Authority is a nonprofit that works with the city to create affordable housing using rental income and subsidies from the Department of Housing & Urban Development. According to their website, FHA operates 288 public housing units within the city.
Derwin Jackson, president and CEO of the FHA, submitted a request to the city for an offset of parkland impact, road and city fees totaling $176,252.
With the Chickasaw development, Assistant City Manager Vernon Gerth said the board provided a sum equivalent to the parkland and road impact fees from their general fund.
Ward 4 Alderman Margaret Martin commented on a design aspect that would increase the prominence of columns on some units that have porches.
“Little things can change the whole appearance of a neighborhood, and it can either be cheap looking or just with a slight twist, you can make it very attractive” she said. “I think the people who are going to live in these homes deserve to have it as attractive as they can, and I hope you would consider taking care of that.”
A public hearing for the project will be held on Dec. 8.