1,000 signatures reached
To: Beltline inc, Atlanta City Council, and Georgia lawmakers
Tell policymakers: The BeltLine should be for ALL Atlantans
Sign the petition to urge policymakers to work with Atlanta community residents and organizers to reconsider the policies that shape the current affordable housing policy and financing landscape and to collectively arrive at creative solutions to ensure a BeltLine and an Atlanta that is truly for everyone!
To review our report and the set of recommendations put forth, visit: https://www.housingjusticeleague.org/
To follow campaign developments and get involved, visit:
Why is this important?
We are in crisis. Atlanta housing costs are on the rise and we are losing affordable units at a staggering rate. Between 2010 and 2014 Atlanta lost 5,300 low cost rental units. Meanwhile, 32,000 people are on the waiting list for public housing.
To solve this crisis, we must act now to increase affordable housing supply and protect low-income homeowners and renters.
The Atlanta BeltLine was supposed to help with this.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is a public private partnership launched in 2005. The BeltLine, and its public sector partners and supporters -- particularly the City of Atlanta and Fulton county -- promised that 5,600 affordable units would be built as a part of the project. But almost halfway through its completion, fewer than 1,000 units have been built. Meanwhile, experts estimate that there is need for 10,400 affordable units in the Atlanta BeltLine area alone in the next decade.
Not only has the BeltLine failed to build affordable housing, but it has also directly caused housing values near it to rise between 18 percent and 27 percent more than elsewhere in the city. These effects are especially foreboding on the Southside where low-income black communities face the encroaching threat of mass displacement from Beltline development plans that have not even broken ground yet. Neighborhoods along the southwest segment of the BeltLine, which includes Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, and Westview, saw median sale prices jump 68 percent from 2011 to 2015! With prices on the rise, existing residents will be pushed out. In the Old Fourth Ward where a section of the BeltLine has been completed, we have already seen the destructive reality of mass displacement.
The Housing Justice League of Atlanta recently completed a yearlong research project on the human impact of the Atlanta BeltLine, speaking with residents about what this context means for them. Since then we have launched a campaign to turn our recommendations into reality.
Pledge your support to the Housing Justice League’s BeltLine for All campaign and tell policymakers you support policies that will ensure development without displacement.
Atlanta’s southside communities are fighting for a say in the development process in order to improve and preserve what is best in their communities and stay in the areas they know and love. These neighborhoods have seen broken promises and discriminatory divestment for decades. Recent examples include bypassing community concerns to push through Arthur Blank’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and handing over the redevelopment of Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter Development without a fair contract with the community in place.
“It is time to break this cycle: Communities on the Southside deserve to be a part of the process to shape and determine the neighborhoods where we live,” says Alison Johnson, a Peoplestown resident. Nia Brown, a young adult born and raised in Peoplestown questions the inequitable development process which is currently pushing people out: “I just feel like, why should we have to move outside of our community so that they can make our community better?” Equitability requires low-income residents to be the focus of the project, not an afterthought.
The BeltLine development is nearly half done, and its legacy is still up in the air.
We need Development not Displacement. It is unconscionable for a city with resources as great as Atlanta’s to stand by and allow the continued extraction of wealth from historically marginalized communities. The City must prioritize human rights and stop funding destructive mega developments with our tax dollars. Renters and low-income homeowners must receive more legal protections and support.
We can move forward together and build more just and livable communities. We can heed the warning call of already gentrifying communities to do better for the people living there now and build a BeltLine for All. Gentrification is not inevitable. It is a matter of political will and taking a stand for housing justice.
Will you stand with us?