MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Affordable housing is a crisis many Memphians face every day.

One organization is hosting a panel in Memphis to help make housing more accessible for people of color.

“We have a housing crisis across the country," said Rasheeda Jones, the managing director of Black Coalition of Housing Tennessee. "Most certainly in Memphis."

Memphians are losing their homes.

More than 56,000 evictions in Shelby County were filed from March 2020-March 2023, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University.

“Certainly in Black neighborhoods specifically, you will find a higher rate of blight, abandoned properties, vacant properties, and so we see that is not addressed, it’s a greater chance for gentrification to happen,” Jones said.

She added that the city is short 8,000 units in affordable housing.

Real estate experts said more units are needed to generate more Black homeowners.

“Institutional investors that are buying up a lot of properties that are coming to the market," said Ashley Thomas, a real estate and mortgage broker. "It puts a strain on inventory, which increases prices, so this pushes a lot of black homeowners out of the market."

Thomas and other financial experts across Memphis and beyond are working to help families bridge the gap of affordable housing.

They're taking part in the Black Developers Housing Summit at the Hilton Memphis hotel, located at 939 Ridge Lake Blvd.

“We just spent some real time diving into the real understanding of development and the needs of community are," Jones said Friday. "Today we are going to gather those pieces into a real conversation to get solutions."

The three-day summit ends Saturday.

For registration and other information, visit

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