Meribah Knight | Nashville Public Radio

Meribah Knight

Reporter

Meribah Knight is a journalist who recently relocated to Nashville from Chicago, where she covered business, the economy, housing, crime and transportation.

Most recently she was a staff reporter with Crain’s Chicago Business covering manufacturing in the Rust Belt, aviation and transportation. Prior to Crain’s she was a staff reporter with the Chicago News Cooperative, producing the Chicago section of The New York Times. There she covered a wide range of topics from arts & culture to education to poverty. She was an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. 

Her writing has appeared The New York TimesThe New YorkerO, The Oprah MagazineUtne Reader, American Craft, Chicago Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Chicago Reader. Her radio and multimedia work has been featured on WBEZ, The PBS News Hour and Chicago Public Television. 

A native of Cambridge, Mass., Meribah has a Masters of Journalism from Northwestern University and a BA from New York University. She lives in Donelson with her husband, a photojournalist with the Tennessean, and their four cats. 

Ways to Connect

Meribah Knight / WPLN

The James Cayce public housing complex is coming down.

On South 8th Street in East Nashville, the shovel of a giant trackhoe is eating through the roof and walls of a brick, two story apartment building.

Lenekra Head looks on from her balcony.

"It's astonishing how it's there and then it disappears," she says.   

Courtesy of MDHA

Nashville’s housing agency is about to submit its five-year plan to the federal government, and much of it centers on overhauling two more public housing developments in South Nashville.

In recent years, MDHA has refocused on its original mission of building affordable housing rather than civic projects. The document is long and epically wonky, but it illuminates the city's priorities. 

Meribah Knight / WPLN

An organized group of Nashville activists is looking to bring an anti-violence effort to the city that treats gun violence as a public health epidemic — like an infectious disease that can spread within a community.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Despite Nashville's budget shortfall, Mayor David Briley is now promising to preserve the city's only dedicated fund for affordable housing.

Joe Buglewicz for WPLN

Nashville's housing authority says that by summer's end every single unit of public housing in the city will no longer be traditional public housing.

It's part of a sweeping overhaul of Nashville's low-income developments, many of which date back to the late 1930s. The bold concept means asking the federal government to hand over the title on every single piece of public housing, essentially turning the city into a private landlord.

Joe Buglewicz

Nashville's housing director Jim Harbison says he isn't worried quite yet about the federal government's proposal to raise rents for low income households. Responding to U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson's controversial plan, Harbison said it's too early for his office to take the proposal seriously.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The median price for a single family home just keeps climbing in the Nashville area — coming in a hair shy of $300,000 last month.

Meanwhile, the overall closings, the numbers of homes sold in the region, has ticked down some — by 4.5 percent compared to this time last year. But make no mistake, this is still boom times for home sales in the region. 

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

A group of Metro Council members are looking for yet another way to stem the loss of affordable housing in Nashville. It involves keeping a close eye on the numbers.

MLS2NASHVILLE

Recommendations for Nashville's new Major League Soccer stadium were unveiled Tuesday evening. Among them was a commitment to work with the community, something local activists have been requesting at community meetings for months.

The stadium's ownership group, Nashville Soccer Holdings, has committed to creating a Community Benefit Agreement. The pact would not just build a stadium but also help the area around it, possibly by employing local residents and creating affordable housing.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The short run up to Nashville's special mayoral election hasn't allowed for lengthy policy debates but many candidates have been vocal about the issue of youth violence. Over the last few years the city has seen an uptick in gun deaths and crimes committed by juveniles. 2017 was the deadliest year for youth in Nashville in more than a decade.

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