May 8 has had the extraordinary opportunity to work with the City of Chattanooga’s Chief Housing Officer Nicole Heyman since 2022 to create the city’s first comprehensive policy, program and funding framework to address its affordable housing challenges.  Chattanooga is making extraordinary progress understanding and responding to its sizable housing deficit.  Yet Tennessee state law often stands in the way by preempting interventions that other communities are using to bolster their housing supply and make the numbers for construction of lower cost homes work.  The bill began with a statewide convening led by Nicole Heyman, Chief Housing Officer of Chattanooga where cities across the state discussed what key tools they need to increase the supply of attainable housing.  Karen Black of May 8 had the good fortune to facilitate this two day working session with Tennessee leaders where they agreed upon their top priority in August 2023, they collaboratively sought to reverse a 2021 state law that preempted cities from any “incentive that makes construction of affordable housing more economical”. In May 2023, the state reversed its law giving cities like Chattanooga the option of offering zoning incentives to promote affordable housing development.