Neighbors worry rising rents will force them to move from Atlant - CBS46 News

Neighbors worry rising rents will force them to move from Atlanta neighborhood

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Broken homes and empty lots line some tired streets along the neighborhoods west of downtown Atlanta. Once thriving, the neighborhoods depopulated because of people fleeing from more crime and low-performing schools. But change is coming as abandoned railroad tracks become a concrete link to a more prosperous east side.

A map shows which Beltline neighborhoods outgrew the Atlanta average growth in three key ways --- more money, more education and more white households, with more pressure on price for those still living on the west side.

Research led by Alison Johnson and her neighbors drew dozens to Atlanta City Hall to push politicians to help those who stayed through the tough times. 

"We want to see good, responsible development," says Johnson." No more pricing out our community, no more moving us out."

Among them is Deborah Arnold, who rented an apartment across the interstate from Turner Field in Mechanicsville for 25 years. She raised a daughter there, got a degree from Georgia State University and is worried rising rents will force her neighbors to move.

"180 units in the complex, we had to fight to confront the owners to stay another five years," says Arnold.

The crowd moved into the marbled-walls of city hall, taking aim at elected officials with their data, including the council, where almost half the members may be new in January. Wearing proud T-Shirts, some promised the trail away from city hall will lead to the voting booth. 

As they left, CBS46 asked several people what they want, city money or regulations to reclaim vacant or abandoned property? They said more money for rehabbing owner-occupied houses, and more help making landlords keep up existing properties.

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