Group wants to not just stabilize rent in an Atlanta neighborhood, they want to lower it

ATLANTA — Concerns about rising rent is something Channel 2 Action News hears about often. So many people say property owners are pricing them out of their homes. Now one group is working to not only keep that from happening but says its goal is to lower what renters are paying.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke to renter Lee Magee who lives on Elm Street in northwest Atlanta’s Peoplestown neighborhood.

He lives in a nine-unit apartment complex where new houses are going up everywhere.

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“There’s one home right here. This white house and one on the other street. Aw, it’s real convenient. We’re like 10 minutes walking distance from [Mercedes-Benz Stadium]. It’s close to everything,” Magee said.

Magee knows with new development comes increasing property values and rising rent.

“The payment of rent and everything going up that can easily put somebody out on the street,” he said.

Thankfully, Magee won’t have to worry about his rent going up. Actually, it went down, much to his surprise.

“You know, when you hear new people are coming they can charge you what they want really,” he said.


Those new people, or, the new owners of the complex are a group of affordable housing advocates who formed the People’s Community Land Trust. Jones sat in on a virtual news conference about why they bought the property.

“Primarily the goal is to stabilize the rents and to ensure that the property is permanently affordable,” Zach Murray explained.

The group says one report indicates since 2021, one in three homes in Atlanta were purchased by investors. It says investors have a game plan.

“To purchase, to raise the rent. Do very minimal repairs and maintenance,” Nikishka Iyengar said.

The group says it plans to buy other properties to not only stabilize the rent, but lower it.

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Magee says it’s exactly what people like him need.

“Every little bit counts you know,” he said.

The People’s Community Land Trust says it is interested in purchasing properties with a high displacement rate. It says it’s important for people not to be stressed out, worried about rising rent and where they will stay.