Amelia Talks Recode and Housing photo

There are multiple aspects of Recode that could have a negative impact on our community of renters. Much of the purpose behind Recode is to increase the city’s tax base by allowing for new types of development (such as mixed use) without requiring each property owner apply for such a zoning designation. Zoning changes were fast tracked through this process. Following Recode, Knoxville will experience more mixed-use development along our corridors, which will increase density where public transportation is already available in an effort to create a more walkable city in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. A problem arises however when the bulk of those developments, at least initially, cater to high income earning residents - whether renters or buyers. To ensure we have affordable housing, we need a multi-year plan for addressing our affordable housing crisis. Through the city’s homemaker program, the focus has been on getting blighted buildings back on to the tax rolls. As a result, housing that previously sold for $80,000 is selling for $160,000. Rental prices of homes and surrounding apartment complexes are rising. And the number of below market rental units are not being replaced at a rate greater or equal to the rate with which we are losing them. Through a multi-year plan that incorporates innovative ideas such as community land trusts and includes a dedicated funding stream for truly affordable housing, we can limit negative impacts of Recode’s fast track rezoning on our affordable housing stock.