• 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
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    Average income limit for 4-person extremely low income household
    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

    Billy Cerullo

    202.662.1530 x219 | [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 Gabby Ross with any questions.

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

    There is not currently an NLIHC NHTF Point Person in Tennessee. For more information regarding NHTF advocacy in Tennessee, contact Gabby Ross [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

    Chief of Programs


    [email protected]

    Bill Lord

    Housing Program Manager, Community Programs


    [email protected]

    Allocation Plan Information

    Dhathri Chunduru

    Director of Research and Planning


    [email protected]

    State Entity Webpage

    Tennessee Housing Development Agency

    NHTF-specific page

    National Housing Trust Fund

    Annual Action Plans

  • Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Tennessee (PDF) (JPG)

    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
    Urge Congress to Enact Historic Housing Investments!
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Increased Investments in Affordable Homes
  • 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). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    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.

    The Metropolitan Action Commission will close its HOPE rental assistance portal to new applications on June 30. Beginning on July 1, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency will expand its portal to allow Davidson County residents still experiencing the impact of COVID-19 to apply for rental help. As of May, Metro Action has distributed over $56 million to 6,784 households. Metro Action anticipates that the current applications and any new applications it receives in the month of June will result in the obligation of the remaining funds allotted to the city.

    Updated on June 14, 2022

    A confluence of factors is impacting affordable housing in Oak Ridge, including the end of the federal eviction moratorium, ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and landlords choosing to renovate old houses rather than giving them to people with housing vouchers. These issues have led to increases in families experiencing homelessness for the first time.

    Updated on October 25, 2021

    Evictions in Memphis have been on the rise since the federal eviction moratorium was overturned, allowing a growing backlog of eviction cases to reach the Shelby County General Sessions Civil Court. More than 20,000 evictions have been filed in Memphis courts since March 2020. There were 457 evictions filed in Memphis courts between August 22 and August 29 – the highest number of evictions filed during the pandemic. 

    Updated on October 13, 2021

    WGNS reports that Tennessee courts held a virtual summit to educate over 300 landlords, tenants, and other stakeholders about emergency rental assistance. The Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services stressed the importance of prevention, intervention, and collaboration between landlords and tenants.

    Updated on September 21, 2021

    With FEMA offering to provide full reimbursement for non-congregate sheltering, the city of Chattanooga is seeking to extend and expand its non-congregate sheltering program for people experiencing homelessness. The city is looking to spend up to $400,000 to rent as many as 100 hotel rooms. This is separate from the city’s ongoing efforts to use $1 million in federal COVID relief funds to purchase a hotel to use as a low-barrier shelter.

    Chattanooga’s nonprofit and government leaders are bracing for an onslaught of eviction cases that will hit the city's already-strained housing market. There are roughly 18,600 households at risk for eviction in Chattanooga when the moratorium expires. There are an additional 364 unsheltered individuals in Hamilton and Bradley counties – an 81% increase since last year.

    Updated on March 31, 2021

    The Tennessee Housing Development Agency is currently awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury to launch the state’s roughly $458 million rental assistance program. The program is estimated to help 25,000 households.

    Shelby County approved $8.5 million in federal funding for rental assistance. The Memphis Tenants Union is calling on elected officials to provide more rental assistance and enact a ban on evictions and utility shut-offs.

    Updated on February 17, 2021

    Without federal intervention, 250,000 Tennessee households are at risk of eviction when the eviction moratorium expires at the end of December. According to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, between 220,000 and 310,000 renters are behind on their rent. The amount of back rent owed is between $457 million to $559 million.

    Updated on January 15, 2021

    Housing experts in Chattanooga are warning about an increase in homelessness when the eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year. Across Tennessee, there is a shortage of affordable and available homes for the lowest-income renters. 

    Updated on December 9, 2020

    Advocates protested outside the federal building in downtown Memphis on October 30 after a three-hour court hearing concerning a federal lawsuit filed by Memphis landlords seeking to overturn the CDC eviction moratorium. The demonstrators protested the lawsuit, saying that evictions are a crime during the pandemic. 

    NBC News Nashville breaks down the CDC’s national eviction moratorium, noting the steps tenants must take to be protected under the order. The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee reports there have been over 560 evictions filed in Nashville for October alone.

    Updated on November 10, 2020 

    DarKenya Waller, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Middle TN and the Cumberlands, discusses how free legal aid protects individuals who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Waller describes civil legal aid as a critical component of Tennessee’s front-line response to the pandemic. 

    Updated on November 4, 2020

    Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s office presented a plan to the City Council on October 20 that would use more than $1 million in Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds to convert a local hotel property into an emergency hotel shelter.

    Updated on October 26, 2020

    Nearly 50 residents were removed from an encampment in Chattanooga on September 29 due to a construction project. Residents were given very little notice to leave and awoke that morning to bulldozers and excavators. An official with the city’s homeless division said her office should have been given more notice due to the number of residents displaced by the action.

    The Tennessean discusses what Tennessee renters need to know about the CDC eviction moratorium. Advocates recommend tenants contact their local legal aid agency if they have any questions about the moratorium and the steps they must take to be protected.

    DarKenya Waller, the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, discusses why civil legal aid is essential for economic recovery.

    Updated on October 14, 2020

    At least 50% of renters in the Chattanooga area are at risk of rental shortfalls, meaning an estimated 17,205 people could face eviction proceedings in the city of Chattanooga. While the CDC moratorium delays evictions, advocates warn that it will not prevent mass evictions when the order expires. 

    Updated on September 15, 2020

    Tennessee could see more than 280,000 potential eviction filings over the next several months. Legal aid attorneys report that landlords have attempted to illegally evict people during the pandemic. The Nashville General Sessions court will start processing evictions on August 31.

    Updated on September 2, 2020.

    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.

    According to global advisory firm Stout, in Tennessee, there could be more than 280,000 potential eviction filings over the next few months. Legal Aid Society Housing & Consumer Attorney Kerry Dietz says landlords have tried taking matters into their own hands and evicting people, but she wants people to know that is illegal.

    Updated: August 28

    State Supreme Court suspended judges, clerks, and court officials from taking an action to effectuate eviction for failure to pay rent until May 31. Eviction hearings are being conducted remotely and in person. 

    Updated: July 31

    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