This week tenant leaders from multiple apartment complexes came together to learn how to organize tenant associations across the Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, and Summerhill communities. We were excited to the room absolutely packed with residents ready to organize against what some see as the coming displacement that often comes with big development or low income communities and build strong tenant associations that have the power to improve their living conditions. It's not only exciting that tenant associations are emerging in these communities, they're emerging together as a rising tide.
The room was absolutely packed and clear next steps were made for each complex represented. AFSC has partnered with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta over the last two years to a listening project designed to launch organizing work that's informed and led by residents. The tenant organizing project is one of the results. By the end of the year we hope to see seven new tenant associations in the three neighborhoods, two have already formed!
Issues raised by tenants included black mold, deplorable conditions, poor treatment by property management, retaliation for individual attempts to organize from property managers, and displacement of long term residents. Despite that fact that there is still a degree of fear of retaliation from property management, it was exciting to hear that when residents act as a collective , as was the case recently with Boynton Village, they win!
AFSC is exciting to continue to support this important work as the eye of development becomes more and more fixated on the Turner Field neighborhoods.