ATLANTA - Affordable housing in metro Atlanta comes at a premium. So, while it’s good news that the state’s unemployment figures have dropped nearly three percent since April, families are still in jeopardy of losing their homes.
With unemployment at 9.7 percent, families have lost income and jobs due to COVID-19, are living paycheck to paycheck, and are sitting on the edge of losing lodging.
But here’s good news. I visited an apartment complex off of Cleveland Avenue on Old Hapeville Road on Atlanta’s southwest side. Management of the Summerdale Apartments has worked for about two years now to make this a community a place to not only find affordable housing, but landlords who will work with tenants through tough financial times. Management runs eviction labs, a place to teach families how to stay put even through lean financial times.
They tell me there is not a single eviction scheduled due to pandemic job losses.
“We want to retain the community. We want the kids to stay in school. As long as we stay in the community, the community grows,” property manager Adriane Thompson explained.
“It takes a lot for me as a person to file. I’m a single mom, so I know how hard it is. That’s the hardest thing for me, so if we can make some type of arrangement and stick to it. I’m good.”
Just down the road from this complex is another one being renovated called Springview Apartments. It’s will also be a well-kept development just like its companion property. This affordable housing area already offers free summer lunch programs for children, free summer camps, and when school starts free, after-school care so working families can do just that work.
This is made possible for a few reasons: a locally-owned real estate investment company dedicated to affordable housing, and Star-C, a non-profit that also works with families to keep them in their homes.
Star-C now has a relationship with about 6,400 rental units in about a half dozen metro counties to work with families through resources like the eviction labs.