ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Legacy residents in the historically black Pittsburg neighborhood said developers who just sold a more than $700,000 house on their block this week, are gentrifying the community and if the trend continues they won’t have anywhere to go.

Now a community group is pushing back, by posting signs in the neighborhood to stop gentrification.

CBS46’s Tori Cooper spoke to residents in the Pittsburg community, who were clearly frustrated.

Residents say they were fearful that increased property taxes as a result of the recent sale, were going to push them out of the neighborhood they love.

In their quiet Pittsburg neighborhood you’ll also now see signs that say, “Stop Gentrification.”

“It’s historically black you know a lot of people have struggles here and there still good people and their being kicked out of the neighborhood, because of the developmental changes that are going on,” Hope street resident, Shardayla Lencrerot said.

Other neighbors on Hope Street support the message behind the sign.

“It’s been impacting everyone here. My main concern is my rent will go up. My rent is locked in now but there’s nothing that will stop my property owner from going under water on her mortgage because the property tax will go up,” Hope Street resident Justin Posey said.

The owner of the new immaculate 3,200 square foot house on the street told CBS46 he purchased the three bed room, three bathroom property this month for around $700,000.

He told us it also has a two car garage and a koi fish pond in the backyard and he just moved in this week.

“I don’t think gentrification is necessarily a negative thing, I think it becomes negative when you leave resident’s behind,” Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown said.

Brown said the city needs to auction off properties to legacy residents in low income neighborhoods.

Brown also said the city needs to provide residents the proper tools to be successful home owners, so that residents like the ones in Pittsburg, aren’t hit with hefty property tax increases.

“Neighborhoods are being taken apart and people are being pushed out,” Kamau Franklin of the Community Movement builders group said.

Franklin is also the man behind the anti-gentrification signs that are posted around the Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

He said he owns a house in Pittsburg too and has been studying the housing market since 2015 in this area.

“We purchased a house six years ago for $50,000 and now it’s valued at well over $200,000, so we knew even then that this community has been targeted for gentrification,” Franklin said.

He said he’s doing what he can to push back the spike in prices with signs outside resident’s homes.

“The person who built this house is building a bigger one right beside me,” Lencrerot said.

Lencrerot said she hopes the city steps in because she wants to stay in her Pittsburg neighborhood.

“There’s going to be some major changes and it’s going to impact not only the homeowners but the tenants who live here too.”

There are three total new properties on Hope Street all backed by the same developer according to a relator who spoke with CBS46.

Residents tell us they hope to see more signage about the lots that are up for sale posted sooner on the parcels of land.

They said this will also help give them a voice in terms of how the land is used, before it’s too late.


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