City, County Establish Joint Office of Housing Stability

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City, County Establish Joint Office of Housing Stability

Posted: 09/08/2023
Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission each approved resolutions to establish the Knoxville-Knox County Office of Housing Stability. Erin Read, who previously worked for the Knox County Health Department, will lead the Office as its Executive Director. 

The Office will launch a strategic planning process this fall to ensure efficient and effective use of funds for the area in an effort to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

Service providers, homeless folks or those who were homeless at one time, and other members of the community will help shape the planning process.

“Aligning the community behind impactful, collective goals will be the Office’s first challenge,” says Read. “We have so many people who are passionate about helping their neighbors, and the Office will bring them together to avoid duplication of labor and connect people to services more quickly.” 

"Homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing the nation, and one that government cannot solve alone,” Mayor Jacobs says.  “That's why I'm excited about the Office of Housing Instability, which will coordinate with other agencies, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations to tackle this issue. The Office will help provide folks who suffer from housing instability with hope and the tools necessary to better their personal situation, as well as improve the quality of life for the community as a whole." 

“Homelessness and housing instability are major issues in Knoxville,” says Mayor Kincannon. “With strategic cooperation across our systems, we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and protect quality of life for everyone.” 

In the first quarter of 2023, agencies across Knoxville and Knox County served an average of 3,227 homeless clients every day. Of those, 731 people were homeless for the first time. For every four people who became homeless in the first quarter of 2023, one exited the system housed. (per KnoxHMIS)

Of those 731 people new to homelessness, 66 percent identified economic and housing-related issues as the reason for their homelessness (eviction, job loss, lack of affordable housing). (KnoxHMIS)

East Tennessee Realtors reports that rental costs rose faster in the Knoxville metropolitan area than any other area in the nation in 2022, even as rental occupancy rates remain extremely high (forecasted at 96.5% for 2023). On average, effective rents in the metro area are 48 percent (or $447) higher than pre-pandemic levels.  (2023 State of Housing Report)

Shawn Griffith, Homeless Program Coordinator with the City of Knoxville’s Office on Homelessness, will move to a position within the Office of Housing Stability this fall.  

Erin Read can be reached at [email protected]

Information about the City of Knoxville’s Housing and Neighborhood Development department, including investments in housing stability and programs that make housing more affordable for City residents, is available at

Information about Knox County’s Grants and Community Development Office is online at