Rally to be held by tenants from the Forest at Columbia Apartments where 200+ people are facing an unjust eviction!
This Thursday, July 28, tenants are taking the fight against mass evictions to DeKalb County Commissioners’ office. We will unite to show our strength in numbers—hold protest signs, talk to the media about this injustice we are facing, and take our grievances and demands to the county’s officials.
“On the 31st of August, I have to provide something to the schools or our kids can’t go to school,” said resident Tykesha Torres, about the need to provide the school with a copy of her lease for her children to attend school.
After years of neglect, on June 28, Meridian Management Group announced the property is supposedly going to be “renovated” but that everyone’s leases were terminated and that tenants had only two months to leave (August 31). This is a crime against tenants that will lead to mass displacement and homelessness, including for the elderly and children. This is part of the racist gentrification process.
Recently tenants held a community meeting and discussed the problems due to management neglect including rampant pest infestation, mold, broken pipes and water damage. Two buildings recently burned and tenants lost their belongings with no compensation. Meanwhile Meridian has an annual revenue of about 41 million dollars!
Tenants agreed to some core demands: including the immediate reinstatement of their leases, the right to renew their lease at the same rental cost, no utility shut offs, renovations while tenants continue to live in their homes, or temporary relocation during the renovation process with the guaranteed right to return at the same rental cost.
“This is a shocking and horrible situation, but sadly not surprising with how tenants are treated in Atlanta,” said Kristin Butler, a housing organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation. She continued, “Unfortunately in our capitalist society, housing is created to make the already rich landlords even richer, rather than providing housing which is a human necessity. We are fighting with tenants so that families, the elderly and children have a place to live first and foremost. A place with clean and safe conditions so people can live in dignity.”