Pockets Of Deep Poverty Found In Study Of Nashville Council Districts | Nashville Public Radio

Pockets Of Deep Poverty Found In Study Of Nashville Council Districts

Jun 29, 2016

A growing number of Nashvillians are stretching their budgets to afford housing, according to a new Metro Social Services report. And to make the statistics relatable, they’ve been broken down by Metro Council districts, turning up several pockets of deep financial strain.

In the past, Social Services put out intimidatingly large reports, up to 300 pages. This time, it’s a relatively slim 57-page packet, mostly made of charts and maps.

They show where homeowners and renters are dedicating more than 30 percent of income to pay for housing — a level known as “cost burdened.” Overall, about one-third of Nashvillians, or 259,000 people, are over that threshold.

And some are far above it, especially renters in North Nashville, Joelton and Madison.

The “burdened” designation includes more than 9,000 homeowners who earn more than median income. Although in that income tier it’s unlikely that the housing spending compromises other basic necessities, said Dinah Gregory, data analysis director for the agency.

This chart shows concentration of "cost burdened" households in Davidson County.
Credit Metro Social Services

The report, called “Know Your Community,” also pinpoints where child poverty is worst. In four council districts in the downtown core — districts 6, 17, 19, and 21 — at least 60 percent of children live below the poverty line.

“That means they’re probably living in a deprived environment,” Gregory said.

Youth poverty tops 60 percent in four council districts.
Credit Metro Social Services

The study also captures some less alarming contrasts. For example, the Hillsboro area is the youngest in town — with a median age of 23 — and that’s exactly half the age in the oldest area, comprised of Oak Hill and Forest Hills.