Members of the Westside Community Association are hoping a new City Council will consider a citizen-backed proposal geared at growing the base of affordable housing units across the city’s urban core.

Gloria Griffith, a representative for the group, addressed council members Tuesday evening during the meeting time allotted for public comment.

“There is a housing shortage in Chattanooga for low- and moderate-income housing,” Griffith said. “There has been for quite some time.”

The proposal, which is unchanged from last year, would require the city to mandate that a percentage of residential units in new multi-unit housing developments be set aside for lower-income populations. It would also require that any new residential developments that were created through destroying former low-income housing sites be met with a 1-1 ratio of new affordable units being constructed as replacements.


The action from the group came roughly one year after their previous attempt to convince the council to approve their citizen-written legislation. In 2012, council members opted to not consider the ordinance and instead create a “consensus group” to discuss affordable housing issues.

Griffith said that despite a year passing the problem had not gone away.

“You’ve got people living in motels because there are no places,” she said.

The council offered no questions or comments after Griffith spoke.

During Griffith’s comments, no mention was made of a recent initiative taken by Mayor Andy Berke to provide incentives for developers to turn vacant or empty city-owned lots into quality affordable housing units.

The Westside Community Association has created a website offering context and details of the ordinance. To find out more, click here.