Committee Chair

Kim, Eun Young

Committee Member

Moody, Dana M.; Walsh, Darrell R.


School of Professional Studies


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Vacant housing has been linked with decreased property values and blamed for attracting criminal activity. Above average numbers of vacant housing in an area can be an indicator of neighborhood decline and impending gentrification. There is an above average concentration of vacant housing in East Chattanooga. It is in East Chattanooga’s best interest to bring these properties back into productive use and ultimately revitalize their neighborhoods. As a mix methods study, census data and in-depth interviews were used to evaluate the problem and identify solutions. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit participants for the study. Content analysis was used for the interviews, and descriptive statistics were used for the census data. The findings revealed a difference between perception and reality of the vacant housing issue in East Chattanooga, as well as a general skepticism around how little resident input is taken into consideration in city-funded neighborhood improvements.


I would like to acknowledge and thank my committee chair, Dr. Eun Young Kim, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, for sticking with me through the evolution of this project and for encouraging me to push through to the completion of this study. I would also like to thank my committee member, Dr. Dana Moody, Professor of Interior Design, for your feedback and advice throughout this study, and my committee member Dr. Darrell Walsh, Assistant Professor of Sociology, for your flexibility to join the team in its maturity. Each of you has strengthened this study and I appreciate your patience and guidance more than I can say. I would like to thank the partners at River Street Architecture, Terry Barker, Rob Fowler, Michael McGowan, and Justin Dumsday for investing in the Interior Design Master’s program in the form of a scholarship. Having your support made my graduate experience much more fulfilling. Thank you for believing in this program and in me. I also want to express gratitude to the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Marshall Hildebrand scholarship committee for your continuous support of students in the Chattanooga area. Your contribution and support gave me a renewed passion for my topic of research and allowed me the financial freedom to focus on my studies.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Community development, Urban -- Tennessee; Urban renewal -- Tennessee -- Planning


Vacant housing; Gentrification; Neighborhood revitalization; East Chattanooga

Document Type

Masters theses




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