• After 3 Illegal Eviction Attempts, Jessica Pettigrew Demands Relocation Funds from Starwood Capital
    In May 2021, an affiliate of private investment firm Starwood Capital Group bought the house that Ms. Jessica Pettigrew lives in with her six children. Since then, it has been trying to put her out. The company filed for eviction against her, but has not yet been granted possession of the property. Despite this, the company has tried to change her locks three times without notifying her. Changing the locks of a home in order to evict a tenant without the approval of a judge is illegal. Ms. Pettigrew is ready to move elsewhere: her downstairs floods every time it rains, and there are mushrooms and mold growing. However, she does not have the resources to leave, and the company only offered her $1,000 to relocate. The actions of Ms. Pettigrew's new landlord are shameful. They must cease their efforts to illegally evict her, and provide her with the funds that she needs to find a new home.
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  • ATL Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Please Stop the Evictions of Peoplestown Residents
    The only reason we've been able to stay in our homes for the past 8 years is because of the support of the community and of our neighbors! Please sign our petition and ask ATL Mayor Bottoms to do the right thing and call off the evictions she is directing.
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    Created by Tanya Washington
  • Stand with Ms. Juliet, a Decatur Resident Fighting For Her Home of 27 Years
    CAMPAIGN UPDATE After agreeing to sell Ms. Juliet her home, Dustin Maxwell is now going back on his word and seeking a writ of possession. Ms. Juliet has secured financing and a loan. All Dustin has to do is sign the deal. Instead, he is taking her case to superior court to get a writ of possession to evict Ms. Juliet. His behavior is despicable. More background: In late November 2021, HJL was able to negotiate a deal with Dustin to sell the home to Ms. Juliet. We agreed to a price and that the financing would need to be in place by Feb 1st. We asked to have until March but he wouldn't budge. Getting financing together was a lot of work, the Holidays and Omicron variant of Covid19 made everything slower. We didn't have the money we really needed until the first few days of February. We had our purchasing agreement ready and sent over for Dustin to sign on February 18th. He never signed or responded, and neither did his lawyer. We feared the worst but hoped for the best. On April 11 Dustin came to the zoom court meeting agitated and said he was tired of dealing with Ms. Juliet and that he wanted a writ of possession because we didn't have everything by Feb 1st. Our lawyer did great, Judge Williams also was on our side, encouraging Dustin to take the money and explained that financing takes time. Dustin didn't budge. Juliet Brown’s eviction case is officially moving to the GA Superior Court after the DeKalb County Magistrate Court judge refused to grant a writ of possession to the landlord. The landlord has been unresponsive for the past month, even after he was presented with a finalized Purchase Agreement with the agreed-upon terms. The Superior Court extension will delay the process for a few more months. Original petition: Ms. Juliet, a Black elder of Decatur, is being forced out of her home so her landlord can sell it for a profit. Ms. Juliet is a beloved community member and has worked at a local public school serving food for 15 years. In the 27 years of living in her home, Ms. Juliet has paid what the house is worth with her rent at least 2 times over. Now her neighborhood is gentrifying, and her landlord refuses to renew the lease so he can make a profit. She is a single, low-income widow with chronic health issues, and she does not have the funds to move. Ms. Juliet does not have anywhere else to go. Her landlord, Dustin, promised her when he bought the home 3 years ago that he wanted her to stay. Now, he’s going back on his word and trying to kick her out onto the street just to make a profit. Dustin has failed to do basic maintenance at Ms Juliet’s home, leaving her without heat for 3 months in the winter. Dustin is a big time investor with over 400 rental units. He has no right to profit from kicking Ms Juliet out of her house. We must hold him and his corporation, Jetsetter Capital, accountable to their violence.
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  • Stop Columbia Residential Injustice against Edgewood's Women and children!!
    It is our fundamental and human right to have our rights protected. Because of this injustice, people are mentally and physically depressed. Some without a will to live. People are in bondage and afraid for there safety. This justice is important for the development of our community and ultimately for our whole society to live in peace and harmony as one.
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    Created by Starr Hill Picture
  • Reform Fulton County Development Authority -- Commissioner Pitts: Appoint a good new board member!
    Fulton County's Development Authority (DAFC) is clearly off track. The AJC's expose has shown that it is a rogue agency, rife with self-dealing. Worse, it has been doling out hundreds of millions of breaks on Atlanta's tax dollars for projects in hot markets that would still be built without abatements. Both Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta School Board have unanimously asked DAFC to stop granting tax breaks in the city, but DAFC refuses to listen. We need to seize this opportunity to reform DAFC. The public cannot wait any longer for a new DAFC board majority. See this article for more information on DAFC's corruption: https://www.ajc.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-fulton-development-boards-twisted-tactics-turn-my-stomach/WJKTDBVGIRHMNPZWQWK3CBFKOA/
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    Created by Atlantans for Equitable Development
  • Relocate Forest Cove Residents Now!
    Residents have had enough. Valaire Wimby has lived in Forest Cove for over 40 years. “There are a lot of rats, we get roaches, we get mold, mildew. My neighbor next door, the wood is all rotten. Piles of trash lay out in the walkway. The buildings are condemned,” she says. “I’ve seen it all, and by the grace of God I’m still here.” Marchella Heard, another Forest Cove Resident, says "Living in Forest Cove has been horrific. My kids can’t play outside. The floor is caving in, the walls are coming down, my apartment is falling down around me.” We are submitting this petition to supplement and support the petition that was signed by over 100 Forest Cove residents and delivered to Millennia, HUD, and several elected officials on February 19, 2021. Since then, Millennia has finally closed on the property and has initiated relocation meetings with residents, however residents are still dealing with inadequate maintenance and it is still not clear when they will be moved from the property. The original petition text is below: TO: Millennia Housing Management, Ltd. (MHM) Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms Chief Housing Officer Terri Lee Fulton County Commissioner Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. GA State Representative David Dreyer GA State Senator Nan Orrock U.S. Representative Nikema Williams U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff We, the undersigned residents of Forest Cove Apartments, have been waiting for our living conditions to improve for years. When MHM took over the property and expressed its plan to renovate it, we were hopeful that we would finally see some positive changes. However, it has been years, and still nothing has changed. We have been told that before the renovation can begin, MHM must first purchase Forest Cove from its current owner, Global Ministries Foundation (GMF). However, whenever MHM gives us a timeline, the dates shift. We understand that the closing process may be long and complicated, but we are unable to wait any longer for our situation to improve. As this process drags on, residents continue to languish in inhumane conditions. It is shameful that so many of us have injuries and health problems from our units. Years after MHM took over the management of Forest Cove from GMF, we are still dealing with broken appliances, rats, mold, leaks, and structurally unsound units. No human deserves to live like this. The top priority of MHM and HUD should be to ensure that all residents are able to live comfortably and safely. We do not believe that MHM or HUD are approaching this situation with the urgency that it requires. We are demanding: 1. That HUD expedite the pass-through leasing process. We want the process to begin in no more than 60 days. 2. That all residents who would like to return after the renovation receive the right to return at full affordability. 3. That between now and the start of the renovation, residents receive the groundskeeping and maintenance services that we need to remain comfortable while we wait to be relocated. 4. That a security company be hired to keep residents safe between now and the completion of the relocation. We are asking our city, county, and state officials for your support. Hopefully this process will be able to speed up with your awareness and urging. Sincerely, The Tenants of Forest Cove Apartments
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  • Former Governor Roy Barnes is a slumlord. His tenants demand an end to his human rights violations.
    On September 8, Efficiency Lodge unlawfully evicted more than a dozen families by locking them out of their rooms during the day while they were away at work; those who were still in their rooms, many of them with children, were forced out at gunpoint by heavily armed guards, who had been hired by hotel management to carry out the evictions. After being locked out of their rooms, a number of residents were not permitted to retrieve their possessions until the following day. The week of September 28 Efficiency Lodge gave out notices threatening to do the same thing again to many more residents and families. Under Georgia landlord-tenant law, a resident and owner establish a landlord-tenant relationship if the resident (or “tenant-at-will”) considers the owner’s property their primary residence and has lived there for at least 90 days. Many of the residents facing eviction have lived at Efficiency Lodge for far more than 90 days, some even up to three years. This makes the self-help eviction practices at Efficiency Lodge unlawful. The Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division recognized this as recently as April 2020. For most residents, Efficiency Lodge is their last option in an exploitative and discriminatory housing market, shaped by decades of racist housing policy, disinvestment, and predatory lending in Black communities. These are some of the most vulnerable renters in Georgia—families and individuals who have, in many cases, already been deprived of other housing options and whose next stop, if forced to leave the hotel, is their car, a homeless shelter, or the street. This reality makes them particularly at risk for exploitation and abuse. At Efficiency Lodge, residents have been forced to live with dangerous living conditions and have faced retaliation (including lock-outs) when complaints have been made to the corporate office. Meanwhile the owners of Efficiency Lodge make huge profits from this dangerous situation. Efficiency Lodge, Inc. is a national corporation with annual revenues of over $7.5 million. In April 2020 they received a $150,000-350,000 low interest loan from the federal government through the Covid-19 Paycheck Protection Program. The owners are the Barnes brothers, former Governor Roy Barnes, and his brother Ray Barnes. In 1998, Ray Barnes was quoted in the Atlanta Business Chronicle stating, “you'll always have undesirables. The question is how quick you can get rid of them.”
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    Created by Efficiency Lodge Tenants
  • Trestletree Village Apartments Residents Fight Back Against Property Mismanagement and Harassment
    “I have anxiety attacks every time I see a slip of paper on my door.” Miracle Fletcher is a mother of two living at Trestletree Village Apartments. With a career in education that hit some major obstacles after she was diagnosed with a rare oral cancer in 2017, Miracle, her family, and many other Resident families in the low-income apartments have been “kicked while they are down” by the shady business practices and abuses of power taking place by Management. While living in a downstairs apartment unit in 2019, Miracle detailed horrific plumbing issues, ranging from instances of fecal matter and sewage water coming up through the bathtub drain while her children bathed, to their entire apartment being flooded and every piece of furniture having to be thrown out. Miracle, already immunocompromised in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, contracted a bacterial infection from exposure to the contaminated water. “We are treated in an inhumane manner, no regard for the health and safety of myself or my children,” says Miracle. “There’s no protection for us residents. It feels like it’s us against them.” Other residents have experienced similar uninhabitable living conditions and have been ignored by Management when they made maintenance and repair requests. On several occasions, Velissa Sims has called about the mold situation and received no response. “I have medical records showing how my and my children's allergies and respiratory health has been affected due to mold and roach infestations,” says Velissa. “We are all on long-term medication and have frequent doctor visits. We may even have to start getting monthly shots for my two children with asthma due to living conditions.” Several Residents like Miracle and Velissa have been speaking out in an attempt to fight back against Management’s harassment and unprofessional practices since 2017. Specific Residents have been targeted with eviction threats, harassing notices, improper and unnecessary home inspections, and inadequate property upkeep (maintenance inside and outside Trestletree units). Now, months into a COVID-19 pandemic that has elevated stress levels universally, single, working mothers are having to balance health crises, essential jobs, and the taxing virtual homeschooling of multiple children at different grade levels with fighting back against property management harassment and threats of eviction from their homes. Retaliation is a prominent tactic used by Management; while response to complaints can go weeks, even months without answer, minor “lease violations” are served randomly and more frequently to residents who fight back against the unfair treatment. “Everyone is on edge all the time. Even if you pay rent and utilities, you can look forward to some type of harassment,” says fellow Resident Tempestt Sims. “With me being a single parent, it makes it feel like [Management is] trying to intimidate you to either stay silent or leave. It’s scary to know at any moment my home can be taken from me.” Sims and others have been threatened to be evicted from their homes as a retaliation and intimidation tactic by Management. If Residents complain about unfounded or incorrect violations, maintenance issues, or provide any type of criticism toward Trestletree Management, the level of harassment intensifies. Trestletree Village Apartments Residents are given violations for nearly any miniscule infringement Trestletree Management can come up with; these bogus lease violations are stacked up over time and used as a record of “issues” to defend Management’s eventual failure to renew resident leases when the time comes. This targeted, mean-spirited stereotyping and mistreatment of Trestletree Residents must be stopped! Residents want property managers who want to work with them, not against them, to build a community of peace, respect, and accountability. Trestletree Village Apartments’ current Management cannot fulfill these needs, and therefore need to be removed and replaced.
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    Created by Trestletree Tenants Association
  • Lift Georgia’s Ban on Rent Control
    Housing in our country is broken, and when you begin to interrogate our financial system it is not hard to understand why. Housing is increasingly commodified and controlled, not by communities and individuals, but by corporations and investors thousands of miles away. More and more, Georgia’s homes and apartment complexes are being bought up, bundled into securitized investments, and traded on Wall Street by private equity groups such as Blackstone, Sylvan Group, and the Brookdale Group. Once these investors own entire streets and neighborhoods, they control the local markets. Because our state has a ban on rent control, these investors are able to gouge rents to unbelievably unaffordable levels. In the entire state, there is not a single zip code where minimum wage covers the cost of housing. It is time to bring power back to cities, communities and individuals, to re-establish the freedom in Georgia to opt-in to rent control, and begin protecting our state’s renters from long-standing exploitation. Georgia legislators, you have a choice to make: Continue letting private equity firms package and bet on our housing and gouge our rents, or repeal the ban and start fighting to restore tenants’ power. We believe not only in citizens’ rights to safe housing and stable rents, but also in cities’ and counties' right to choose their own approach to our housing crisis. State law should not be an authoritative force that dictates the destinies of local renters. Repealing the ban restores and protects the freedoms of our millions of renters, and re-establishes municipal authority. We demand the long-overdue repeal of Georgia’s rent control ban.
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    Created by Georgia For All Coalition
    There is an affordable and accessible housing crisis throughout all of metro Atlanta. Our unhoused neighbors are the most extreme manifestation of this problem. DeKalb County has chosen to provide the minimum of services so our neighbors don’t freeze to death. This is unacceptable. It’s time for the county leaders to step up, to stand up, and do the right thing not only for the unhoused but also for the hundreds who wait for years for housing and services. All people are deserving of dignity and respect. All people have a human right to shelter and housing. This is an urgent matter of life and death. Don’t let another freezing night go by without taking action.
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    Created by Diana Berman
  • Protect the Elder Tenants of Sterling @ Candler Village from COVID-19!
    We are members of Voices of Seniors Tenant Association (VSTA). We live in Sterling Village, a subsidized senior black community off of Candler Road in Decatur-- a low income and higher crime area. We have been residing in fear and dread of the unchecked COVID-19 infections in our building of 120 units. Our apartments are like living in a box, with no balconies and low ventilation. Complexes like ours experience disproportionate COVID-19 exposure, approximately 4.5x more than affluent white communities. Our apartment management refuses to communicate with us on this issue. A maintenance worker has informed us that one of our female neighbors died of COVID-19 this February, 2021. There were at least ten others sick with COVID-19 in the building. We've had two more deaths due to the coronavirus in just the first week of March. We have asked management time and time again to install safety measures including security to keep us safe, but our requests have fallen on deaf ears. How can we protect ourselves from the coronavirus when we have no idea who comes and goes throughout the complex? Management has been totally unresponsive and even resentful due to our prior requests for a security guard to stop a rash of auto break-ins. Tenants at Sterling, our complex under the jurisdiction of both the Atlanta and DeKalb Housing Authority, have a right to safe housing, and as a community of elders, we demand health equity and safety from COVID-19! We attempted to look elsewhere for help creating a stronger pandemic response for our senior living community. We called the CDC, who told us to call the State Health Department, who told us to call the Dekalb County Health Department who then said they could do nothing for us. Although all of the workers were very cordial, they all ultimately told us that they could not provide us with any help. To even access these sites, you need the internet. Thankfully, some of our members are able to afford their own computers and service, as the apartment's computers have been locked away for months. This lack of access to the internet for elderly Black residents is yet another disparity that management seem oblivious to. The residents feel hurt, angry and that no one cares if they live or die.
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    Created by Voices of Seniors Tenant Association
  • Clarkston Station tenants demand adequate maintenance and an end to unnecessary fees
    Residents at Clarkston Station have experienced countless indignities and violations of their rights as tenants at the hands of the managers and owners of the property. Residents have had to deal with mold, pests, broken air conditioning units, and ceiling collapses, with their repeated maintenance requests being ignored by management. The landlord has also repeatedly increased the rent and charged a ridiculous $25 fee for a trash disposal problem they caused through their lack of maintenance. On top of all this, the landlord has illegally attempted to evict residents in the middle of a pandemic despite a national moratorium on evictions. The owner of the property is Code Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New Canaan, Connecticut, and has more than enough resources to address these problems. The residents of Clarkston Station have come together to demand that they do so.
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    Created by Clarkston Station Tenants