What Are The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Chattanooga, TN?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team
Moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee? Navigating between the good and the bad neighborhoods can be a challenge. Whether it be Eastdale, Avondale, or Lake Hills, let’s take a look at the worst neighborhoods in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga is a well-known city in Tennessee and is a widely popular destination to visit and live in. This area has rivers all along the edges and is close to the mountains providing a fantastic number of outdoor activities to choose from. The University of Tennessee is nearby, and the cost of living is relatively low compared to other places in the United States.

Chattanooga has a crime rate that is 166% higher than the national average, and there are some pretty big neighborhoods that you should avoid moving to. To stay safe, avoid places like Eastdale, Avondale, Washington Hills, Lake Hills, and Riverside.

Like any city you live in, there will be crime, and Chattanooga is no exception. Living in Chattanooga means there is a 1 in 18 chance of becoming the victim of property crime and a 1 in 93 chance of a violent crime. Living here means you will have to take precautions, and the best way to do that is by avoiding these neighborhoods listed below.

Related Content: Safest Neighborhoods In Chattanooga, TN | Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee | Best Places To Live In Tennessee

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

The Worst Neighborhoods In Chattanooga

Though many of the individual neighborhoods have no statistics these have very low reviews. Many of the parents of these neighborhoods rate the school system low, the crime rate high, and some people are just scared to walk through these hoods at night.

  • Eastdale
  • Avondale
  • Washington Hills
  • Lake Hills
  • Riverside
  • Downtown
  • Rossville
  • Citico
  • Noah Reid Road

The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Chattanooga, TN

If you are looking for places to avoid and wondering why? Let’s get into it! Some of the neighborhoods don’t have much information on them but a lot of reviews that we have read through for you. No matter where you choose to live, you should read reviews and always tour the neighborhood first. This will help you decide what areas to avoid and what the neighbors truly think of a place.

1. Eastdale

  • Population Density: 8,083
  • Median Household Income: $40,688
  • Median Rentals: $750 

This area is a pretty rundown place but does offer some nice houses. Most of the community will agree you should avoid the tunnels with walkways and keep your wits about you. There is a large number of pickpockets and jumpers that will take advantage of you.

Some of the community have never experienced this and feel safe with the surrounding police. The best thing you can do is drive through this area, and if you are walking to keep your wits about you.

2. Avondale

  • Population Density: 4,017
  • Median Household Income: $27,600
  • Median Rentals: $1,212

Avondale is another area that looks a bit run down. You can find some pretty decent houses for rent or to buy for a relatively low amount. The median home value for this area is $102.5k.

There are actually many people who are moving into this area because of the reasonable price. However, the schools in Avondale are rated 1 out of 10 by the locals. If you have kids, this may not be the best place to move.

3. Washington Hills

  • Population Density: 4,223
  • Median Household Income: $49,447
  • Median Rentals: $925

One of Washington Hills’s best features is that the school ratings are a bit higher in this area than the others. The average rating for schools here is 5/10, and the kids are pretty happy here. Many of the people who live in this community opt to invest in a good home security system to ensure their safety.

If you are looking for a home in this area, you may want to invest in a security system. Many locals say to avoid walking around at night for safety reasons and keeping casual strolls for other designated parks and areas.

4. Lake Hills

  • Population Density: 2,752
  • Median Household Income: $47,310
  • Median Rentals: $929

This neighborhood is 41.3% more expensive than other neighborhoods in the area. The median home value of Lake Hills is $154,129. You would think that the higher price would ensure more safety, but in fact, you have a higher chance of property crime in this area.

This neighborhood is a bit less run-down and a bit more put together than other areas. It is close to a lot of the city amenities that you may want to do, and there are some hotels in the neighborhood that are highly rated. You should still avoid walking around at night, but most people find they are comfortable walking around during the day.

5. Riverside

  • Population Density: 550
  • Median Household Income: N/A
  • Median Rentals: $1,073

One of the best features of this area is that there are huge parks nearby. You can go to the Chattanooga zoo and aquarium really easily and even make a day trip to the museums that are around town. The view is exceptionally pretty because most of the apartments are on the river.

As you can see, this is a smaller area with a tiny population. Not many people live here, and you won’t find many places to live unless you get lucky. The schools are rated lower in this area, and the crime rate can be just as high if you’re walking around.

6. Downtown

  • Population Density: 1,959 per square mile
  • Median Household Income: $43,964
  • Median Rentals: $1,270

Living in downtown Chattanooga is like any other city in that it is more expensive to live within the city limits. You will find more places to rent and fewer places to buy. The median home value of downtown Chattanooga is $202,762, which is a massive difference from the areas outside of the downtown neighborhood.

There are many activities to do in this area and great if you love shopping, bars, or coffee shops. There are always events going on and many fun things to attend if you are single looking for fun.

7. Rossville

  • Population Density: 4,105
  • Median Household Income: $45,527
  • Median Rentals: $800

The neighborhood’s nightlife is rated below average because there is not much to do in this neighborhood. Though the nightlife is bad, there is also a lot of crime in this neighborhood, so most people choose to stay indoors. The school system is also rated below average, making it not a desirable community for families.

However, the price of homes to buy is relatively much lower than in other neighborhoods. You will find the median home value of this area to be $86,700, which is significantly lower than the downtown area.

8. Citico

  • Population Density: 900
  • Median Household Income: $43,964
  • Median Rentals: $1,073 

Citico is a long avenue stretched over a few blocks. It is near a bunch of amenities that make it a desirable place to live. The crime risk in this area is moderately high compared to other areas, and certain streets may be more dangerous to walk past.

You will want to ask neighbors which places are best to avoid and what their experiences have been like. Half of the neighborhood has been deemed safe by the community. The other half feel uncomfortable walking around this area.

9. Noah Reid Road

  • Population Density: N/A
  • Median Household Income: $55,152
  • Median Rentals: N/A

People choose to live in this area because it is another long stretch of a neighborhood that happens to be really close to the local airport. It is also close to the Harrison Bay State Park, which hosts a bunch of water activities for those who love adventure and is also close to the Tennessee River. This area’s median sales price is $218,450, which makes it a more expensive place to live than other areas.


  • Population Density: 905
  • Median Household Income: $61,926
  • Median Rentals: $1,443

Before it was called MLK BLVD it was known as the “Big Nine” It was home to many black-owned shops that attracted many people. Local officials in 1981 changed the name in honor of Martin Luther King. A Lot of the streets intersect with downtown which can be deemed dangerous.

The areas closest to downtown make it an unstable place to meander in the middle of the night. There are a lot of pickpocket thieves near the city and you will need to be careful when walking down the street.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Wrapping It Up

Though Chattanooga may not be the safest place to live overall, you can find some better areas to live in. You should check out places like Georgetown, Collegedale, Brainerd Hills, Lookout Mountain, and Lakeshore. They have wonderful reviews and are all a little further away than downtown.

Most of the parents in this area are incredibly happy with the way the schools are run, and the children are happily attending the schools in these areas. The nightlife in those neighborhoods tends to be rated poorly because they are quieter and further away from downtown. Check them out while touring your way through Chattanooga.

No matter what you decide, you should avoid places like Eastdale and Avondale. They have very poor reviews from the locals, and they are not the best for children’s school. Each neighborhood has its own unique story and some features that do attract a certain crowd.

Like any city you go to or live in, there will be a certain amount of risk, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, is no exception. There is a high number of crimes, and if you are not careful, it can easily happen to you. The best thing to do is be careful, read reviews, get to know your neighbors, and understand the areas you should avoid at all costs.

More Related Guides

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

More by Upgraded Home Team