METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING AGENCY’S MAIN OFFICE
NASHVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY
The year was 1938 and a housing crisis gripped our nation. As in many other cities, 75% of the housing occupied by low and moderate income Nashvillians was grossly substandard.
With the passage of the first United States Housing Act in 1937, the citizens of Nashville began to work to establish a municipal housing authority. Following a vote of approval by the City Council on Oct. 31, 1938, the Nashville Housing Authority (NHA) was formed and its first meeting was held on Nov. 9, 1938.
NHA began its work immediately. In May 1939, an application was submitted to the U.S. Housing Authority for the construction of two affordable housing developments. Approval of this application was received in July of that year and construction soon began on Boscobel Heights (later renamed in honor of James A. Cayce, first active Board Chairman who died during construction) and J.C. Napier Homes. Then in August 1939, NHA also took over the operation of Cheatham Place and Andrew Jackson affordable housing developments from the U.S. Housing Authority.
In December 1972, NHA’s Board of Commissioners recommended changing the organization’s name to Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). Metro Council approved the name change, which went into effect on Feb. 19, 1973.
From those earliest years and on through new construction and renovations that continue to today, MDHA has served the citizens of Nashville, currently providing housing opportunities to approximately 30,000 people. The Agency
Along with the expansion of its housing programs, MDHA has assisted the city over the years in all phases of land assembly, design and development, and has seen the initiation and completion of several downtown development projects during these decades of Nashville’s growth. The projects MDHA has been involved in include Second Avenue Rebuild, Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium, Music City Center, Music City Walk of Fame, Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Nashville Public Library.