Brookhaven, GA, June 23, 2016 – by Trey Benton – A group of thirteen religious leaders from nine congregations in the City of Brookhaven, are appealing to the City to consider the impact of “gentrification” and the ramifications of “unabated” development.
We urge the Council to study the stock of and need for affordable housing so as to ensure its long-term availability for our neighbors who are in need.
Many people, including many in our congregations and many who have lived in Brookhaven for a long time have been effectively displaced. Though this started before the creation of our city it has continued, seemingly unabated. –Brookhaven Clergy
In a letter dated June 7, 2016, religious leaders say they are concerned about what rapid increases in the cost of housing is doing to members of the community. They say many members of their congregations who have lived in Brookhaven for a long time have been effectively displaced. “Though this started before the creation of our city it has continued, seemingly unabated,” the letter says.
Understanding the market forces behind gentrification and the city’s desire for higher revenues and curb appeal, members of Brookhaven’s clergy say they are compelled to “speak up for the poor and dispossessed, and those who are unable to speak up for themselves” and “caution our city against neglecting the natural benefits of a diverse city.”
Religious leaders are asking the City to include them in their discussions of planning the future of the community in order to provide a voice for those who are unable to provide one for themselves.
Pastor Zachary Bradley who ministers at Brookhaven Presbyterian Church gave the Invocation at the Tuesday, June 21st Council Meeting. Later during the meeting, Pastor Bradley spoke during public comments and urged Councilmembers to hear their plea and take it seriously.
A passage of scripture was offered to the City: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” – Matthew 25:35