Housing Search


This activity has students explore the current conditions of housing availability in their community.  Students will role play as citizens with different occupations who have a variety of housing needs.  Through the activity, students will gain an understanding of housing challenges, and develop practical skills for researching neighborhoods and finding housing.

Download the entire Housing Search Lesson Plan

Core Question

How does the shape that we give to your city, in turn, shape us?
Supporting Question: What are the current struggles and successes of my community?

learning Objectives

I can find housing for community members that have a variety of different needs.
I can assess the housing availability in my city, and identify the challenges.

Supporting Text

Aging in the Place We Call Home” excerpt in Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan (pg. 172)
Cleveland Park: Displacement on Steroids” excerpt in Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan (pgs. 166-167)
Housing For All” excerpt in Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan (pgs. 50-51)
Urban Transect - Housing” chapter in Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan (pgs. 162-165)
Tough, tiny Chestnut Hill works to stay affordable” Tennessean article by Tony Gonzalez


*Definitions can be found in the glossary in the back of the Curriculum Guide.

Single family Home
Multi-family home
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA)
Public Housing Communities
Rental Assistance Voucher Programs


Internet access for either small groups or individuals
Residential Types” (one per student)
Housing Profiles” (one per group)
Housing Profiles Search Guide” (one per group)
Public housing information for your community (one per group) 

How to Qualify for Public Housing” is provided for Nashville


Launch: 15 min
Activity: 30 min
Closing: 15 min
Total time: 1 hr



This launch activates student’s thinking about the importance of housing to quality of life.  They will also learn some vocabulary that will benefit them during the activity.

  • Think-pair-share - What makes a house a good place to live?

  • Predict: What is the current state of housing availability in Nashville?

  • Fill in the “Residential Types” graphic organizer. Explain to students that this vocabulary will help them in their next activity.

  • Transition into activity by telling students that they will be exploring the current availability of housing in Nashville. The purpose is to understand the current experiences of citizens in their quest for housing.


Find housing that best fits the needs of the profiles given that represent a diversity of life circumstances.

Recommended Facilitation

  • Introduce the “Housing Profiles Search Guide,” which gives students the online resources needed. Specifically, go over the Low Income Housing Resources section with the following information:

    • Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency(MDHA) is Nashville’s government funded agency that provides affordable housing and community development programs. The two

      • Public Housing Communities - Government owned housing communities that are offered at a low cost based on a person’s income. Low income requirements must be met to live in these communities.

      • Rental Assistance Voucher Program - Vouchers that assist people in renting privately owned housing. Low income requirements must be met to receive these vouchers.

    • Non-profits - There are a number of private non-profit organizations in Nashville that provide affordable housing for people with low incomes.

  • Using the “Housing Profiles” worksheet, have students find the best housing option for each profile. As they search, they should document the following for each profile:

    • Description of what they considered to be the best housing option.

    • Challenges that they faced.


Reflection/Discussion Questions:

  • What were some similarities among the different profiles?

  • What challenges did you encounter?

  • What types of housing are most available in Nashville?

  • What types of housing are the least available?