By Janita Hendricks, Student at Middle Tennessee State University
The Envision Napier project in South Nashville is one of several initiatives that promote mixed and inclusionary zoning, yet perhaps, at the expense of displacing many low-income residents in Nashville. Spearheaded by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), Envision Napier seeks to revitalize three neighboring public housing developments (Napier, Sudekum, University Courts). It is the second of several “Envision” projects – the first of which is in Cayce Place in East Nashville – that attempt to remake public housing in Nashville.
Tennessee is advertised as a low-wage, pro-growth state that provides a variety of tax incentives in order to attract businesses in the region. Many residents believe in growth, however, it has pushed out vulnerable residents who are either forced to the edges of Davidson County or must find affordable housing options in neighboring counties. The Envision Napier plan, although touted as revitalization, fits within Nashville’s growth model, and as such, may displace hundreds of South Nashville residents.