According to Homelessness is a Housing Problem, which we can't recommend highly enough, the reason some cities have more homelessness than others isn't about individual vulnerabilities. Cities with higher levels of homelessness don't generally have higher rates of drug use or mental illness, and most communities with higher poverty rates actually have lower levels of homelessness. Instead, when comparing one city to another, the root causes of homelessness almost always come down to housing. In particular, as a rule, U.S. cities are more likely to have high rates of homelessness when their inhabitants face two things: higher rent and fewer available rentals.
We look at those factors here. Median rent compares monthly rental costs between Knoxville, Tennessee, and the United States. Likewise, occupancy rates highlight how “tight” the Knoxville market is compared with state and national trends: the higher the rate, the fewer rental units are available to those in search of housing. It's a salient fact: Knoxville saw the greatest rent growth in the country in 2022.
As we speak, the City of Knoxville and Knox County, along with local nonprofits and private developers, are actively working to increase housing stock in our community. In our view, such developments can't come soon enough. We at KnoxHMIS humbly ask all Knox readers to remember this urgent need for affordable housing – and for all types of housing – when new development is considered in your own neighborhoods. We'll vow to do the same.
NOTE: If you're pressed for time, this 15-minute talk offers a good summary of the themes in the book mentioned above. And please stay tuned for far more thorough and compelling housing data through the City of Knoxville's forthcoming Evictions Dashboard. We'll share a link here when that's live. Many thanks to Carter Hall at the City and Hancen Sale at East Tennessee Realtors for their insights on housing data.
Each day on average,
were being served during the quarter.
KnoxHMIS provides an annual report detailing the state of homelessness in the community. Reports are available to download by following the link below.
KnoxHMIS provides reports on unique subpopulations experiencing homelessness. These reports provide specific information not included in this dashboard.
If you have questions or comments concerning this dashboard or homelessness in Knoxville, please contact Mike Dunthorn: firstname.lastname@example.org