The Cost of Nashville Real Estate Outpaces Its Residents
It may sound like the same old song, but real estate in Music City, U.S.A is in high demand.
Over the past year, the cost of real estate in Nashville has grown by an impressive 8.6%, sending the median home value well over the $300k mark. In 2021, that figure is projected to rise another 10.3%, and that increase has some of Nashville’s most economically disadvantaged residents likely cryin’ “I don’t wanna play house”. Nashville city officials, however, have taken note of the issue and have formed an affordable housing task force to help residents cope with Nashville’s explosive growth.
Housing Heartbreak in Nashville
Nashville has long been heralded as the capital of country music, which it undoubtedly is, but honky tonkin’ and hot chicken are only a small part of Nashville. In fact, Nashville isn’t just diverse — it’s long been a national stage for civil rights.
"From its historically Black colleges and universities to its proving grounds to train non-violent protesters, the city has fostered change that benefited the country,” Samar Ali, an attorney and president and founder of Millions of Conversations told The Tennessean.
Today, the Census shows that more than a quarter of Nashville is Black. And as we’ve explored in our other blog, “Real Estate and Civil Rights are Closer Than We Think”, many Black and other families of differing national origins still suffer the economic consequences that racially biased attitudes and housing policies created decades ago.
“African American families that were prohibited from buying homes in the suburbs in the 1940s and ‘50s, and even into the 1960s, by the Federal Housing Administration gained none of the equity appreciation that Whites gained,” Richard Rothstein, a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in his film Segregated by Design.
Of course, it’s been roughly 53 years since the Fair Housing Act was passed, but that’s less than two mortgages ago. Stable housing and access to real estate are some of the most effective tools in helping these communities break cycles of poverty. That’s great for both real estate professionals looking to find future homebuyers or investors and residents who want to someday own property.
The Nashville Affordable Housing Task Force
Led by Nashville mayor John Cooper, the task force comprises two dozen academics, developers, public servants, and elected officials to help create and preserve affordable housing options for the city’s most economically disadvantaged residents. The plan is to re-evaluate land use, encourage developers to increase the supply, and, of course, bolster current affordable housing programs.
“Nashville’s housing needs are urgent,” Mayor John Cooper said in a press release. “By working together and listening to one another, we can find solutions that work best for Nashville’s neighborhoods.”
The hope? To create a stronger, more balanced local economy that will hopefully get more people on a path to homeownership because real estate changes lives. And that’s something that we can all support.
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