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HomeNewsNashville Residents Blame Wealthy Californians for Skyrocketing Homelessness

Nashville Residents Blame Wealthy Californians for Skyrocketing Homelessness

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A picture depicting Nashville homelessness
Source: thatviralfeed/X

Most states in the United States have decried the harsh climes in the country amid increasing migrant surge and skyrocketing inflation. More recently, Nashville residents have been condemning the rate of homelessness in the Tennessee capital.

Nashville residents have complained about the city’s state, highlighting their struggles with getting affordable homes. While general inflation has affected the economy, residents blame the crisis on out-of-state real estate buyers.

They claim these buyers drive real estate prices up, leaving residents with unaffordable homes. According to official stats, the rate of chronic homelessness in Nashville has skyrocketed to nearly 78 percent in the first quarter of  2024.

The homelessness rate increased to about 1,525, especially among those living with mental health conditions or disability, in April. According to reports, the figure was around 863 in the same period in 2023. The difference in the figure further shows the deteriorating state of the state’s economy.

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ALSO READ: University of Missouri Student Goes Missing After Leaving Nashville Bar During Fraternity Trip

Speaking about the issue, Heather Young, a local nonprofit founder, stated that the skyrocketing homelessness crisis is due to a sharp rise in the cost of living. “They can’t get affordable housing,” Young noted. However, aside from the rising living costs, the state’s population boom is also a major contributor.

Over the past few years, Nashville has experienced a population boom. Due to Tennessee’s cheaper real estate and lower tax prices, Nashville has been a favorite destination for investors. However, the influx has impacted the city wrongly. 

The influx increased the value of properties and the cost of living. “I’ve seen an increase in women and children,” Young said. “I’ve seen an increase in mental health that needs to be addressed. According to reports from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, renting a house in Nashville costs a fortune.

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POLL—Should the Government Increase Taxes on the Wealthy To Reduce Economic Inequality?

To rent a one-bedroom apartment, residents must pay about $1,442 monthly, an increase from the measly $200 it was in 2023. “I guarantee you it’s going to double from where we are now,” Young said of the crisis. Aside from the out-of-state real estate buyers, major corporations have relocated to the state.

Notably, Nashville is not the only town experiencing homelessness in the United States. According to reports, California accounts for nearly 30% of the homelessness crisis in the country. 

Other cities experiencing homelessness include New York, Oregon, Vermont, and others due to the increasing cost of living in those cities. Major companies, including Oracle and Amazon, have announced that they are setting up operations in Nashville, Tennessee, and bringing their workers with them.

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ALSO READ: “It’s Getting Worse” Fort Lauderdale Residents Lament City’s Homelessness Crisis

Remacia Smith, a longtime resident of Nashville, discussed the unaffordable housing in the city and noted that she had to move with her family to the suburbs. According to reports, the median home price in Nashville has increased significantly by nearly a hundred percent.

“It almost doesn’t look like Nashville anymore,” Smith said. While speaking to reporters, another longtime resident, John Michael Morgan, expressed concern for Nashville. Morgan worries the state might lose its essence. He says Nashville has always felt like a communal small town but now feels like a “big town.”

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