Report: Middle Tennessee zoning policies contributing to unaffordable housing

Jun 5, 2023 | Political News

After finding housing affordability is the most pressing issue for Tennesseans through its 2022 listening tour, Beacon Center has developed and released an atlas of Tennessee zoning requirements that highlight how the state has become unaffordable for the average person in Middle Tennessee.

Local and state policies have contributed to an environment where housing prices have outpaced the median income.

“Tennesseans, whether renting an apartment or trying to buy their first house, are dealing with record rising home costs, particularly in Middle Tennessee,” said Beacon Policy Director Ron Shultis. “And while most point to record growth and people moving into our community to explain higher costs, one cause has escaped criticism: zoning. Through lines drawn on a map, local governments arbitrarily limit the supply of housing, especially more affordable options like accessory dwelling units (such as in-law suites), duplexes, and multi-family housing.”