Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Announces 2020 Free Home Empowerment Workshop Series

Support From Two New Sponsors Funds Twice the Number of Workshops Offered in 2019

Through its Empower programming, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) works to understand the challenges to equitable health, housing and economic opportunity that impact residents of Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods — connecting those residents with partners and resources that can empower those who call the BeltLine home.

In 2020 – thanks to generous funding from Wells Fargo and Bank of America – ABP will work with best-in-class strategic partners to host a series of free workshops designed to help familiarize legacy residents of Southwest Atlanta neighborhoods with the tools and resources available to help them remain in their homes amid the challenges of rising property taxes and neighborhood change. Additional workshops will focus on educating renters about their tenant rights and how those who rent currently can best prepare themselves to move toward home ownership. An existing homeowner resource guide will be updated and revised to address the needs of both renters and homeowners.

The partners supporting ABP in this effort include:

While anyone is welcome to attend these workshops, there is a special focus on addressing the needs of Southside and Westside BeltLine residents. 

Following is a list of the planned workshops and the partners who will facilitate them:

  • Your Rights as a Renter and how to find help when you need it fast – in partnership with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation — RSVP here
  • Should I Stay or Sell? Your home’s worth, how to stay in it and what to think about before selling –  in partnership with House Proud, the Home Repair Network and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
  • Lower My Property Taxes by filing for Homestead Exemption – in partnership with Atlanta Legal Aid
  • Appeal an Unfair Tax Assessment to lower and freeze your property taxes –  in partnership with Atlanta Legal Aid
  • How to Buy a Home and decide if homeownership is right for you  in partnership with SUMMECH Community Development and Atlanta Land Trust

The first workshop – Your Rights as a Renter – is scheduled for 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Monday, January 27, 2020 at The Ke’Nekt, 1492 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, in Westview. Topics will include eviction defense, a landlord’s duty to repair, and Georgia’s new landlord retaliation statute, among others. Following the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and have a brief one-on-one consultation with the attorney to discuss specific issues. Food and beverages will be served and a fitness watch and Amazon Fire tablet will be raffled off to attendees at the end of the workshop. The workshop is free but attendees should register here so we know how many to expect.

Following is a tentative list of additional workshops for the first half of 2020. Please check BeltLine.org/Empower to verify workshop times, dates and locations.

  • Should I Stay or Sell?: February 26 at Atlanta Metropolitan Library (Capitol View Manor)
  • Lower My Property Taxes: March 11  and March 21 (two workshops) at Paradise Baptist Church (Grove Park)
  • How to Buy a Home: April 18 at Rick McDevitt Youth Center (Peoplestown)
  • Your Rights as a Renter:  May (date and location TBD)
  • Appeal an Unfair Tax Assessment: June & July (dates and location TBD)

Atlanta Habitat for Humanity’s Tia McCoy presents at a 2018 home empowerment workshop.

“The Partnership thanks our 2020 workshop sponsors Wells Fargo and Bank of America for their generous financial support which will enable us to more than double the number of workshops we offer,” said Rob Brawner, Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “We are also deeply grateful to our strategic partners for developing and delivering the content for these workshops. This new funding and the commitment of our 2020 partners lets us greatly expand on the important work we’ve been doing in this area for many years.”

“The Partnership’s housing work with residents in Atlanta BeltLine communities complements ABI’s work creating and preserving thousands of affordable units,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “Multiple affordable housing strategies are a key pillar to ensuring equity and inclusivity for our neighbors.”

“Every day, millions of Americans struggle with the cost of owning or renting a home. We especially see this here in Atlanta, where housing affordability has become a real crisis,” said North Metro Atlanta Region Bank President Mike Donnelly, who also serves on the Partnership’s board of directors. “People should not have to sacrifice basic needs such as food, health care and education to cover the cost of housing. These workshops are vital and help empower BeltLine neighborhood residents with the tools and knowledge needed to address these problems.”

“Our collaboration with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is fundamental to Bank of America’s commitment to stable, affordable housing to support economic mobility,” said Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president for Bank of America. “Our purpose is to make financial lives better by focusing resources on strengthening the overall economic health of Atlanta.”

If your organization offers products or services that support our mission and you’d like to join our group of strategic partners, please reach out to us at empower@atlblp.org

More information about ABP’s home empowerment workshops can be found here.  

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