• State Data Overview

    Across Tennessee, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    Renter households that are extremely low income
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Kyle Arbuckle

    Kyle Arbuckle

    202.662.1530 x227 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    There is currently no State Coalition Partner in this state. Learn the qualifications for becoming a State Coalition Partner.

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Kyle Arbuckle with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Martha Weatherspoon


    Lincoln Homes Resident Council


    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Ralph Perrey

    Executive Director

    Tennessee Housing Development Agency


    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    HTF Operational Information

    Don Watt

    Director, Community Programs Division


    [email protected]

    Bill Lord

    Housing Program Manager, Community Programs


    [email protected]

    Allocation Plan Information

    Bettie Teasley

    Director, Research and Planning


    [email protected]

    State Entity Webpage

    Tennessee Housing Development Agency

    NHTF-specific page

    Multifamily Direct Loan Program

  • Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Tennessee (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Tennessee (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Tennessee and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Tennessee and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    Many cities and states are establishing rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. This tracker links to news reports of various city, state and philanthropic rental assistance programs that are being established during the pandemic. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of rental assistance.

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    Many cities and states are establishing rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. This tracker links to news reports of various city, state and philanthropic rental assistance programs that are being established during the pandemic. 

    Updated on June 17, 2020.

    Shelby CountyShelby County Board of Commissioners designated $500,000 will go towards helping Shelby county residents with rent and mortgage assistance. They make direct payments between $1,000-$1,500 to landlords and mortgage companies.https://tinyurl.com/yavh9r2x
    KnoxvilleKnoxville has set up a fund to assist residents if they were unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to job loss or income loss because of COVID-19. The financial relief is available to those who earn up to 80% of the Area Median Income and lost employment or income due to COVID-19, or have been diagnosed and/or quarantined with COVID-19 and are unable to work.https://tinyurl.com/y998b2cd

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:

    No information at this time.

    Health officials announced that 119 people experiencing homelessness who were staying at The Fairgrounds Nashville and the Nashville Rescue Mission had tested positive for the coronavirus.

    The Metro Public Health Department is investigating a possible COVID-19 outbreak at the homeless shelters at the Fairgrounds after four individuals tested positive for COVID-19.


    Nashville Launch Pad, a nonprofit that normally serves young adults in the LGBTQ community, is urging the city to house people experiencing homelessness in hotels during the pandemic. The Nashville nonprofit has expanded its program and has witnessed the positive outcomes of its efforts to house people in hotels.


    The city of Knoxville announced the launch of the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, which will provide rental and mortgage assistance to residents impacted by the pandemic. The city received $1.55 million in federal coronavirus relief funding, including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV). A portion of these funds will be used for the emergency housing assistance program, and some will be used for homeless emergency shelter services and Mobile Meals.

    Updated on June 12, 2020.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.

    In the third week of July, 31.1% of adults in Tennessee reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 394,904 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.

    Updated: July 29

    According to a weekly survey by the Census, 1 in 3 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.

    Shelby County

     There are more than 9,000 eviction cases pending in Shelby County.

    June 16

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb