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First Displacement Free Zone created in the City of Atlanta following legislation authored by Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms

Post Date:04/12/2017 4:56 PM

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. SW
Atlanta, GA  30303 

CONTACT:
Dexter M. Chambers, Council Communications Director
404-330-6309 – Direct / 404-392-0159 – Cell
dchambers@atlantaga.gov – Email

April 12, 2017

 

First Displacement Free Zone created in the City of Atlanta following legislation authored by Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms

The program aims to pay the property taxes for homeowners who quality
for up to 20 years

 

ATLANTA – In an effort to prevent hardships on low-income property owners due to redevelopment, the City of Atlanta created its first Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program, an initiative which will pay any property tax increases for qualifying homeowners in the English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights and Atlanta University Center communities. The new program is designed to help ensure that current homeowners are not displaced due to rising property values as public and private investments are made in these neighborhoods. 

Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms introduced legislation (Legislative Reference No. 16-R-4683) in November calling for a report on establishing Displacement Free Zones in the City of Atlanta within areas impacted by gentrification. It was approved by the full council on December 5.

The program aims to help qualified homeowners based on income level for up to 20 years. More than 500 homeowners who qualify have been identified in this initial rollout.

The new initiative was announced by Mayor Kasim Reed at a home on DAlvigney Street in the English Avenue community. Mayor Reed was joined by Councilmember Bottoms, Department of Planning and Community Development Commissioner Tim Keane, Westside Future Fund Executive Director John Ahmann, Vine City Neighborhood Association President Pastor Dexter Johnson and City Councilmembers Ivory Lee Young, Jr. and Michael Julian Bond.

“The concept of creating Displacement Free Zones had been examined in other cities, but most often, did not have the structure and buy in from public, private, and community stakeholders to make it truly impactful.  I am thrilled that the legislation I authored last year is leading the way in tackling this issue and establishing a blueprint for addressing the issue of affordability that is challenging cities across the world,” said Bottoms.  “Many of our most geographically valued communities are full of longtime residents who are rightfully concerned about the prospect of I’m rising property taxes as a result of economic development in their neighborhoods.  In the Atlanta way, we have set an example for other cities to follow.”

Gentrification is the process whereby low-income neighborhoods, usually in urban areas, are made attractive to high-income residents. What was once low amenity/high density rental complex is turned into a high amenity/low density condominium complex or luxury rental units. The negative result is that the original, low-income tenants in newly gentrified neighborhoods too often cannot afford to remain, primarily due to higher rents; and for a homeowner, higher property taxes and overall cost of living.

The fund, administered by the Westside Future Fund and sourced from philanthropic donations, will operate as a grant for individuals and will not require participants to pay back any funds received. Residents can apply for the grant program from April 12, 2017 – March 15, 2018. Fund payments will begin in the 2018 tax year.

For additional program information, including how to apply, visit www.westsidefuturefund.org. Information can also be obtained email at info@westsidefuturefund.org, by phone at 678-902-7889 or contacting the Office of Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms at 404-330-6054.

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