Community-Focused Housing Development

Community-Focused Housing Development: A Closer Look at Envision Cayce

Here in Nashville, there’s a tremendous need for affordable, mixed-income housing development. To begin addressing this need, a $600 million dollar overhaul of East Nashville’s James Cayce Homes is now underway. In fact, at the end of August the first building, Barrett Manor, opened its doors to new tenants.

In an interview that aired on Channel 5, the building’s first resident, Artt Horne, gave the visiting journalist the “grand tour,” and said that his new apartment was like “winning the lottery, or the next best thing. Over here, this is a whole different feeling,” said Horne. “It’s a positive feeling.”

Barrett Manor, part of the first phase of the ambitious envision Cayce plan, is a four-story building featuring 70 one-bedroom apartments and will house seniors, disabled, and single residents. Ultimately, the new and improved Cayce will feature nearly 2400 units and will foster a community-like environment.

To minimize disruption and to avoid displacing the current residents, the project is being completed in distinct stages. For now, new buildings are being erected on vacant property but ultimately, the existing Cayce Homes buildings will be demolished and replaced with modern, mixed-income housing options for Nashvillians of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Phase 2, which will soon begin, focuses on Kirkpatrick Park and will feature 94 new townhome-style apartments.

“By providing a new home to a family, it will re-energize this area,” said Jamie Berry, Director of Communications for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). “It will give them a sense of pride for where they live.”

Kirkpatrick Park is the next phase of Envision Cayce. It will feature 94 townhome apartments and a groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for this Fall.


The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) notes that the plan ultimately calls for “2,390 units and ensures a one-for-one replacement of public housing units, while adding both new affordable, workforce and market-rate housing.” The beautifully conceived plan also includes 11 acres of active green space, a health center, pharmacy, grocery store, a K-8 school, a public library, and retail spaces.

MDHA also notes that “Construction of the multi-million dollar project will have a great economic impact on Nashville’s economy. MDHA’s Section 3 plan ensures that at least 30 percent of new jobs created through commercial and intuitional occupants are filled by Section 3 eligible individuals.”

Benefits of Mixed-Income Housing

Many tout the benefits of mixed-income housing and as Nashville’s population continues to swell, creating affordable housing for all of our city’s residents is critically important. Mixed-income developments, such as the Envision Cayce project, are a solid first step toward achieving housing equality. The Urban Institute, a research organization “dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities.” According to their study, mixed-income housing is believed to:

  • Improve social networks whereby poor people expand their job-search and acquisition networks

  • Improve social control, where the presence of higher-income people leads to higher levels of accountability to established norms and rules followed by increased order and safety;

  • Offer behavioral effects in which higher-income residents model alternate lifestyles and norms, which in turn promote behavioral change and increased self-efficacy among low-income residents;

  • Improve the political economy of a place, where the presence of higher-income residents will create new market demand and effective political pressure that will lead to higher-quality goods and services for all residents.

  • Help residents gain access to more and better quality community services and amenities

  • Enrich social interactions which can lead to positive outcomes for disadvantaged families


(SOURCE: Metropolitan Housing and Community Center, “The Effects From Living in Mixed-Income Communities for Low-Income Families.”)

Investing in Socially Responsible Real Estate

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Horton Admin