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Shelby Co. assessor calls for limited housing rentals in Memphis and suburbs

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Within the past two years, property in Shelby County has become extremely attractive to outside real estate investors.

Over 7,000 single-family homes were purchased by outside investors in Shelby County in the last two years, limiting the supply of affordable housing for first-time homebuyers.

Now, the Lagrange Commons Housing Association President is looking to change that.

“We have at least 30% renters, we’re not opposed to renters but now it’s getting to where the percentage is going up higher,” said La Grange common HOA President Ebonee Hodges.

She says in the last five years, renters are taking over the neighborhood from investors and corporations that turned homes into rental properties.

“We got with our attorney and we tried to change that and vote to say hey there’s some people that are grandfathered in can stay and everyone else we would like for them to be homeowners,” said Hodges.

But to change the bylaws, she needs at least 70 percent of homeowners to vote, which she says is a challenge due to the growing population of renters.

“What I’ve noticed recently is were thinking it’s actually the homeowner or someone who is not a rental property, for instance, the name may be Susie Q in about time you get to closing, Susie Q was actually a rental property,” said Hodges.

Shelby County Assessor Melvin Burgess said he believes that this is an indication Memphis and Shelby County could experience an economic crisis in the housing industry in the years to come.

He is calling for a collaborative effort among legislators, and city and county officials to restrict the number of rentals in Memphis and Shelby County communities.

“This will hopefully include creating special zoning for neighborhoods that requested and making those communities owner-occupied communities,” said Melvin Burgess Shelby County Assessor.

With the shortage of homes available for sale becoming more crippling for first-time buyers, Ebonee hopes to get her 70 percent of the votes by the end of this year.

“That something we’ve been working on and it’s not just about me it’s about the community,” said Hodges.

Rental choice dot com reports Tenneeses ranks number four in the U.S. As the Best States To Invest In Real Estate.

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