NASHVILLE, TN — A grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency will assist Nashville’s Project Return in its efforts to provide affordable housing for people who have been previously incarcerated. 

The $500,000 Tennessee Housing Trust Fund grant will be used by Project Return to build six permanent affordable rental units in Nashville for men and women who are returning from incarceration.

THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said the funding will allow Project Return to continue providing safe, affordable housing for its clients. 

“Housing that provides safety and stability plays an important role in helping members of at-risk groups, like those returning from incarceration,” Perrey said. “This funding will allow Project Return to expand its efforts to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for the people who need it most.”

Project Return plans to use the THDA grant to build six permanent rental units that will provide safe and secure housing with supportive services to six formerly incarcerated residents at a time. 

The units will be part of Project Return’s PRO Housing initiative, which consists of 23 similar units situated throughout the Nashville area. Instead of transitional housing, the PRO Housing program replicates the private market by creating affordable rental opportunities for men and women who are otherwise excluded from the market on the basis of their conviction history.

The funding will allow Project Return to acquire and renovate six one-bedroom units in areas where it is difficult for those who have been previously incarcerated to find affordable and accessible housing. The project will also help preserve and upgrade affordable rental housing in Nashville, which is becoming increasingly hard to find. 

The properties will be located in residential areas that have access to public transportation and nearby jobs and services. The units will feature a universal design, Energy Star rated appliances and solar panels. 

Residents in the program will have access to job placement and a full continuum of support services, including job training and placement. Transportation assistance, financial coaching, physical, mental and substance abuse treatment will also be available.

The Tennessee Housing Trust Fund (THTF) was created by the THDA board of directors to provide financial support for innovative, affordable initiatives that serve the housing needs of Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents.

Funding for the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund comes entirely from earnings generated through THDA’s Single Family Mortgage program. THTF grants are awarded through a competitive application process. Since 2006 THDA has provided over $80 million in THTF grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations across the state.