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35 Comments

  1. 1

    Mark Wilson

    Well if this isn’t a game changer I don’t know what is! Brokenhaven has even gotten the attention of the Almighty! WOW! I hope this “divine intervention” will make these bozos listen and bring them down from “on-high.”

  2. 2

    #nomoreapartments

    So just because I cannot afford to live across from the golf course, they should make one of those multi-million dollar houses affordable for me and my family because we can’t afford it. The fact that they are using religion to try and persuade our city leaders is not acceptable in my book!

  3. 3

    Thanks for Speaking up

    This is a very real concern for our neighbors and should be 100% should be respected. To see so many apartment building being torn down and how many are projected to be torn down just make me sick.
    This is something that JMax and Rebecca got rolling and it would be great to see the more human side of Ernst hopefully change some of this course.

  4. 4

    Paul D

    That’s not what they are doing. They are just simply trying to make sure everyone has a voice. Stupid comment poster.

  5. 5

    Saul

    Actually one of the founding goals of city creation was gentrification. The higher taxes are, the easier it is to pay for the requirements of government and D1’s agenda. C4ND and Brookhaven Yes knew exactly what they were doing. D1 is fine. The rest of you districts will pay for our desires.

  6. 6

    Tom Reilly

    “As long as you have done this to one of these, the least of my brethren, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:45 [more of less]–my apologies.–Tom Reilly

  7. 7

    Sally Forth

    Not sure why there are natural benefits to a diverse society. Seems to me that the benefits all run in one direction, and the downside of diversity is crime, resentment and squalor. I have always believed in helping those that help themselves, but our welfare practices have done away with the requirement that people try to better and help themselves. If they do not, then why should I?

  8. 8

    Sally Forth

    Calling people stupid for expressing their opinion shows you to be a liberal, a misnomer if ever there was one. Let us all hear every voice without perjoratives please.

  9. 9

    Paul D

    Sally, you are correct. I apologize. Yes. All voices should be heard. Even those with differing opinions. Thank you to The Post for providing that forum.

  10. 10

    Saul

    Sally, I think what is being said is to moderate growth and development in Brookhaven do as not to destroy the quality of life we have for all of us.

    Those affected most are the longer term residents, the majority being property owners, that may not have the incomes of the newer residents or have fixed incomes and are most sensitive to increases in taxation be it property or other.

    Nothing wrong with expressing opinions, but don’t be stupid and ignore the point of the argument.

  11. 11

    outraged

    Gentrification will only be allowed so far because of the new initiatives with the department of Housing and Urban Development. There is a new policy that will not allow socioeconomic exclusive neighborhoods if the municipality takes any Federal Grant Funds. Google AFFH to get more details.

    Part of the push for Marta TOD’s is to comply with the AFFH policies, see #3:

    What are strategies to affirmatively further fair housing under the new rule?

    1) A city could improve public education outcomes by helping residents use Housing Choice Vouchers in higher opportunity neighborhoods.
    2) A town could create job incubators within historically disinvested neighborhoods.
    3) A municipality could invest in affordable housing in transit-oriented developments to ensure low-income residents have access to jobs via reliable public transport.

  12. 12

    outraged

    #nomoreapartments
    The big problem here is that what has historically been a family oriented low, middle and high income city is forcing out the very people that helped to make it what it is. You have people in every class that have lived in Brookhaven for years that are seeing their property taxes increase 2 and 3 times what they were. Yes that means the property values are up but the assessments in many cases are wrong and doesn’t mean a dang thing if you aren’t looking to sell. Lets face it most are here because of the location and even if they sell they wont be able to find anything comparable. It’s not a case of someone wanting to have the best without working for it, they have worked hard and just want to keep what they have. Now if you want to worry about something… look up the AFFH policy….

  13. 13

    Barbara

    A majority of the “low income” folks were around Lynwood and some parts of Ashford in single family homes. They sold by choice, made large profit, and left. There have been very few low income apartments in our city that have been torn down, most were well past their prime and needed to be torn down for health and safety reasons. Much like the ones on peachtree at the Fulton county line.

    Post Brookhaven has been affordable since inception and still markets itself as a place for folks getting their job out of college. If you can afford to live there at $30k a year then that’s pretty good. Gables Oglethorpe also has rent control in place.

    At the end of the day, because of all the new apartments we are more affordable to low income than ever before, especially when Marta builds.

  14. 14

    Greg

    There are plenty of affordable apartments on Buford Hwy.

    The rise in rents is a temporary phenomenon, a reaction to the boom and bust of the housing market the last 10-12 years. Rents will come down as the newly built units have trouble reaching 100% capacity at asking price.

  15. 15

    Kim

    I would never presume to speak for the worthy clergy who pinned this surprising letter to the City. However, I’ll hazard that they “natural benefits” they are alluding to are related to it creating an environment of greater understanding and empathy among people from many walks of life. Then again, I believe that only occurs when there is interaction. Perhaps these pastors have that and perhaps others do not.

  16. 16

    Kim

    And I should say perhaps they value that and perhaps others do not. It’s in their training – they can’t help it.

  17. 17

    Kim

    My guess is that rent rate isn’t the heart of the pastors’ concerns. They specifically call out “displacement.” I believe they are referring to two kinds of displacement: 1.) Homeowners who find they can no longer afford the property taxes on a property they may have acquired at a significantly lower price, and 2.) Residents of the aging apartment stock that is the target of redevelopment, especially along Buford Hwy. In both cases, these are individuals who once displaced are unlikely to remain in Brookhaven.

  18. 18

    Kim

    Prior to the incorporation areas south of Peachtree were areas of focus by DeKalb for the same reasons. Some elders in what became D1 told me twenty years ago that I should move above Peachtree to avoid being rolled up in commercial and high density redevelopment. So with apologies to The Who, I say, “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.” The dynamics remain the same and the City happened incorporate during an enormous economic and real estate boom. When it busts again, the pace will (again) slow a bit. But it will return any time the financial lure and economic “steam” permits it to do so!

  19. 19

    John McGrew

    While I can sympathize with the situation these ministers are concerned with, I don’t see any suggestions by them as to how the city council can meaningfully address the problem, nor can I think of any short of advocating a return to the sort of dysfunctional governance as exists with much of the rest of DeKalb County that depresses property values elsewhere. The harsh economic reality is that property values are on the rise because Brookhaven is a desirable place to live, and desirable places to live within the perimeter are finite.

  20. 20

    Jennifer

    I think there were some lower income in other areas, particularly in the tiny airbase houses, some of which have been kept up quite nicely.

  21. 21

    Jennifer

    John,
    There are mechanisms to allow growth and protect existing residents. Freezing of property taxes for long time residents until they sell the property is one method that has worked well in other places and has be discussed but never acted on here.

  22. 22

    Saul

    But this really is a non issue for you John, because you have escaped.

  23. 23

    Saul

    Ah, the old Dunwoody crowd that came to be known as that part of Dunwoody inside the perimeter once the perimeter was constructed. Yes, those same elders you refer to were so pissed when they were dissed by Dunwoody city movement that they created their own city. Let’s face it, Brookhaven as a city is the fictitious creation of a really odd group of people here in D1. When Brookhaven was created, they made sure that D1 would be the ultimate governing district controlling all others to protect their way of life. Regardless of economic changes, not everyone in Brookhaven is in control of their investments, their homes, their way of life and their destiny. Unless you live in D1, then all is well.

  24. 24

    John McGrew

    I wholeheartedly agree Jennifer, that Georgia needs to consider something similar to California’s Proposition 13, which limited annual property tax increases because of this very problem. I do think it’s a sin that people on fixed incomes are literally being taxed out of their homes. But the ability to do that is beyond the powers of Brookhaven’s city council. That’s something that needs to be addressed at the state level. I find it interesting and curious that these clerics are not addressing this at the state level.

  25. 25

    yakety-yak!

    I keep hearing that straw man argument. Allcounties and cities have exemptions for seniors on property tax. Dekalb is one of the latest ages, I believe 65. Cobb County senior exemptions begin @ 62, so generally the elderly on fixed incomes are exempt.

  26. 26

    Jennifer

    There are some exceptions, not a blanket exemption from what I understand.

  27. 27

    Betty S.

    For those of us that are 65+ we don’t even qualify because of income sources. It really stinks. I was never able to have children and never ever complained about paying school tax because I know how important education is. BUT, I did look forward to being able to omit that portion of my taxes in my later years. When I applied – I was denied because of some revenue sources I still receive. Not a lot of money but enough to disqualify me. One more 18% increase and I will have to move. Sad, very sad.

  28. 28

    Bobby

    Better scrutiny of high density re -zoning requests is one way they could help. Also, evaluating the pricing gaps and needs within areas to encourage specific types of development and products is another. Displacement is happening to all of our citizen demographics and areas.

  29. 29

    Ted Gordon

    I see this letter as a high level discussion of “Why” it is important to have affordable housing and not a lower level discussion of “Where and How” it is to be done. People go through periods of good fortune and misfortune in their lives. Not all folks stay in a bad state their whole life. Often times one unfortunate event such as an illness, accident or victim of crime can put people in a real crisis. I think it is a good purpose to have affordable housing and to help those in need so people have a chance to climb out of it. It is the position of the city to address the where and how of affordable housing. Also, don’t forget people on fixed incomes like retirees are at risk when property taxes and expenses increase while income stays the same.

  30. 30

    Terrell

    I have been canvassing the area and at several SFR homes I have met some very nice young professionals that are currently renting homes that have 4-6 people living there. They do not want to live in a small, noisy apartment, appreciate the amenities that come with the homes, want to buy but can not afford what is available on their own. They love it here and would like to see some flats, condos, town homes, and live/work units. Our teachers and police would also like to be able to find “affordable housing” if that’s what you want to call it, within these same types of products.
    The demand, circumstances, and need varies. This isn’t just about subsidized housing . Affordable housing comes in many forms.

  31. 31

    Terrell

    I have been canvassing the area and at several SFR homes I have met some very nice young professionals that are currently renting homes that have 4-6 people living there. They do not want to live in a small, noisy apartment, appreciate the amenities that come with the homes, want to buy but can not afford what is available on their own. They love it here and would like to see some flats, condos, town homes, and live/work units. Our teachers and police would also like to be able to find “affordable housing” if that’s what you want to call it, within these same types of products.
    The demand, circumstances, and need varies. This isn’t just about subsidized housing . Affordable housing comes in many forms.

  32. 32

    Patrick

    Saul,based on the vote for cityhood,a number of us in Dis.2,3 and 4,also voted for cityhood.

  33. 33

    Saul

    Patrick, who controls D2, D3 and D4 now?

  34. 34

    John McGrew

    Sorry, Betty. It’s all part of the Progressive “War on the Middle Class”. If you’re “rich”, you don’t really care. If you’re poor, you’ll get subsidies. If you’re middle class, you just have to suck it up.

  35. 35

    Riley OConnor

    That is correct. Getting a school tax exemption starts at age 62 for some, age 65 for others and age 70 for all. There are income restrictions along with other requirements that are complicated enough that the Tax Office has to use a computer to determine if you’re qualified.

    The school tax is the largest single item on our tax bill, so becoming exempt is interesting for those living on fixed incomes. On the other hand, I want the young people who will grow up and take care of me in my dotage to be as smart as possible and economically productive. An interesting dynamic.

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