Rents rising for working class families, falling for wealthy in Nashville


Rent is falling for the wealthy and rising for working-class families according to data, and Nashville is included in the list of most expensive cities where this trend is occurring.

It's not only a lot of new construction coming in, but also stagnant paychecks that aren't helping the working class in Nashville. Rising rents are impacting local families.

"When we had to move, that was the situation where you couldn't find anything that would accommodate a family of seven that was affordable," said Kennetha Patterson, who was priced out of Nashville. "When I finally found something, I landed in Cheatham County."

Patterson used to live here at the Park at Hillside apartments until she said she was pushed out because of development and prices.

"The uprooting of working-class families that make the city tick," said Patterson. "They're the ones that make the city run, but they're the ones that are being pushed out as well."

Emily Sellers works to educate tenants about their rights with the nonprofit organization, Homes for All Nashville.

"The only thing being built in Nashville seemingly is luxury apartments so that's driving up the rent for everyone."

Sellers said an analysis like what the Washington Post wrote this week highlights the reality of being cost-burdened.

"If it takes a study for people to start paying attention great, but it's been happening for years," said Sellers.

News4's Briona Arradondo asked some community advocates what they think needs to happen.

"I don't think we've been committed. I don't think the government has been committed or serious enough," said Jackie Sims, a community organizer with the People's Alliance for Transit, Housing and Employment or PATHE coalition.

Advocates like Sellers and Sims worked with the city of Nashville to come up with a booklet about high rent. Sellers also said they found there will be a deficit of tens of thousands of affordable places in about five years, but the city can't build fast enough to catch up.

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