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Atlanta, GA– On December 9th, the Peoples Community Land Trust– which formally launched in August 2023– met with residents of 379 Elm Street in Atlanta’s English Avenue community to announce the PCLT’s recent acquisition of their building. 379 Elm, a 9-unit multifamily property, represents the second acquisition for the PCLT following the acquisition of a single family home in Peoplestown which secured housing for a displaced elder. The building is also the first multifamily rental property to be acquired by a Community Land Trust (CLT) in Atlanta.

The PCLT is a collaboration between The Guild, Housing Justice League (HJL), and the AFSC Atlanta Economic Justice Program (ATLEJ). The three groups came together to incubate the PCLT to create a permanent solution for low and moderate income residents across Atlanta who are at risk of displacement due to Atlanta’s rapidly rising housing costs and the toll that investors are taking on the housing market. The PCLT’s strategy involves both partnering with residents facing displacement and identification of properties in which residents face high displacement risk. The PCLT aims to purchase those properties to remove them from the speculative market, permanently preserve the affordability of the units, and convert units to ownership where possible.

Above: Residents of 379 Elm and members of the PCLT collaborative gather Dec 9th to learn about Community Land Trusts and discuss resident needs at the property.

Although CLTs have traditionally focused on permanently affordable homeownership, increasingly CLTs are prioritizing acquisition and preservation of affordable rental properties. Often these properties are targeted by investors who see rent increase opportunities, subsequently resulting in high rates of displacement. The state of Georgia’s lack of renter protections — including rent control and just cause eviction policies — allows these practices to occur unabated. In fact, the PCLT discovered that the rents for units at 379 Elm were constantly increasing and that the property had experienced numerous evictions of tenants in the past year. The PCLT aims to decrease rents for existing tenants and to ensure that rents for vacant units are prioritized for tenants with incomes at or below 30% of the Area Median Income.

Tenants of properties like 379 Elm also frequently cite experiences with poor property management conditions, which take a toll on quality of life and safety during their housing tenure. In fact, the PCLT discovered from a resident who is seeking to relocate from the property that a previous property management company asked her to place the water bill for the entire building in her name, a bill which the company often paid late. Residents also mention feeling unsafe at night due to poor outdoor lighting and the refusal of property management to make needed improvements. This type of behavior is one among the number of abuses that tenants in Atlanta often face at the hands of investor owners and property management companies. The PCLT will address this by partnering with the residents at 379 Elm Street to proactively steward the 9-unit complex.


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