Thursday, June 18, 2009

The School - Housing Connection

Folks, son of awcomeonnow has been desperately trying to enlighten us to the school/housing connection. Our school system is under a great deal of pressure to serve the uncontrolled "affordable housing" developments and other low-income subsidized projects that on the surface, appear to be great social causes, but in reality, basically serve to line the pockets of certain politicians and developers.

To showcase the benefits of creating low income housing and to encourage more of them, our DeKalb County Housing Authority is actually hosting a $50 per person "Landlord Appreciation Gala". This event offers to "Learn investment tips and gain valuable information regarding the future of the affordable housing industry and the economy." Yikes!!! Is this truly what we want to focus on for DeKalb County development?

We owe it to our school systems to do what we can to voice our concerns about these kinds of projects and the resulting crowding at our schools and transiency problems. We need to push for a balance in the way our county develops and do our best to protect the demands on our schools that result from over-investing in "affordable" housing.

Attend the Landlord Gala hosted by the DeKalb Housing Authority and let our politicians know that we are very concerned about the repercussions of their uncontrolled development decisions.


Cerebration said...

Here are some great Sponsorships and Advertising options:


VIP Cocktail Reception Sponsor ($2,500)

Awards Sponsor ($2,000)

Johnny E. Simon Memorial Scholarship Sponsor ($1,500)

Table Sponsor ($500)


Marketing Opportunities
Last year over 350 souvenir booklets were distributed to apartment complexes, businesses, government agencies, and individuals throughout Metro Atlanta. By becoming a sponsor and securing your space on the back cover, and throughout the event, you will be maximizing your company’s exposure at a minimal marketing cost.


Advertising and Booths
Don’t miss your opportunity to sign up as a vendor for the Housing Authority of DeKalb County’s Third Annual Landlord Appreciation Gala!

This exclusive social event will be attended by over 350 of some of the most prominent people and businesses in the Real Estate and Government Industries. This is your opportunity to promote your products and/or services at a very low cost and maximize on your return.

Confirmation and booth assignments will be sent to you upon receipt of your application and applicable fees for booth rental and advertisement. We look forward to your participation.

Booth Space Rental $150.00 (includes table display area, 1 ticket, and company name printed in souvenir book)

Business Card Rate ($50.00, $5 refund with the purchase of a booth space)

1/4 Page Rate ($65.00)

1/2 Page Rate ($100.00)

Center Fold ($475 for both or $250 per page)

Full Page ($145.00)

Full Page Back Cover ($425.00)

Color Master Sponsor ($1,500)

Souvenir Sponsor ($500)

Invitation Sponsor ($300)

Cerebration said...

And - before you all get going on about how this is for "working class" affordable housing - check out the landlord briefings -- to be held on the following dates (I guess due to so much demand...)

Landlord Briefings
May 1st
May 15th
May 20th
June 12th
June 17th
June 19th
July 15th
July 17th

Landlord Briefings - All Dates
Our briefings offer a combined presentation of the in and outs of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formally known as Section 8) and the Housing Quality Standards (HQS)/Inspection process.

Please select the date that best suits your schedule from the navigation to the left, or from the calendar view.


This is what our Housing Authority is promoting for our county. They want to seriously beef up our Section 8 housing - and consider that "development" and "investment" ... Stand by for blight!

Open+Transparent said...

sonof and others can better explain LIHTC, Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

They are given by the county and used by slumlords more in DeKalb than any other county in the rets of the state by far.

Nothing affects the quality of a DCSS education more than LIHTC's.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow says
Thank you, Thank you, thank you! The son really appreciates this posting.
As for Low Income Housing Tax Credits: said it many times before, but it bears repeating.
The funds are disbursed from HUD to whatever state agency is in charge of them.
In Georgia it's the Department of Community Affairs. Each year a whole bunch of different players pony up for these funds .
For them to receive the funding they have to meet some criterias on location and condition of properties, prior track record with tax credit housing, and LETTERS OF ENDORSEMENT FROM THE HEAD ELECTED OFFICIAL OF THE COUNTY OR CITY THEY ARE IN.
I shouted the last line, because some of our elected officials, Liane Levetan in particular never saw a letter of endorsement they didn't want to sign.
Once they've jumped through all of those hoops, the formula can award up to the following amount per million dollars in set aside units: nine hundred thousand dollars, spread out over a ten year period.
This means for every million dollars you receive to effectively ruin a surrounding area, you get to take ninety thousand dollars off any federal income tax that you have due.
If that's not bad enough, the
Georgia house and senate passed a
bipartisan, both houses screwing of the the people they are supposed to represent a few years ago. It's called HB 278, and it gives MATCHING state tax credits to all the slumlords that are already receiving federal tax credits.
HB 278 passed with NO OPPOSITION votes in both houses. What a regrettable bunch of multifamily housing whores we have in our state house.

pscexb said...

I found this article on the NY Times site regarding the City of Atlanta eliminating its housing projects (actually saw this mentioned on I found this interesting and hopefully you will also.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow back on the usual topic.
The NYT article PSCEXB alluded to is an interesting read, but it omits the elephant in the room.
Said elephant? How do those from the projects play in the burbs?
If you ask any teacher, cop, or a whole lot of homeowners in metro, not very well.
I'm going to be completely non PC here: the best way to acheive the goal of being in public housing is to get knocked up.
Those of you who've ever watch
Jerry Springer or Montel Williams see a diverse group of ill behaved
individuals. Many, especially the ones on Montel, have this is common:
the women have all had kids out of wedlock.
How many persons that have
concerns about their neighborhood's viability want to volunteer the vacant housing for someone who'd fit right in on Springer or Montel Williams?
Creative Loafing can be predicted to have article after article decrying the plight of displaced public housing tenants.
I'm not entirely heartless- I do feel that many tenants that follow the rules, watch after their kids, and don't invite friends with guns over are getting shafted.
That being said, Creative Loafing ran an article back when they were getting ready to tear down East Lake Meadows. It covered the plight of a soon to be displaced mom and her eight children. .....Those that don't learn from their mistakes the first time.......

Anonymous said...

So much to say and so little time:

(1)bond lawyers, judges, property owners and REALTORS (how about that one) are paid to fill neighborhoods with crime, irresponsibility and destabilization. It's no joke that the only building that is 100% occupied in DeKalb is the jail....and so it goes for the budget increases for added police, more judges and court rooms and on and on.

(2) Some of the most "upstanding" (inluential) "citizens" (leaders) either profit directly or look the other way, even when schools in their own neighborhoods are ruined.

(3) if you live in Dunwoody, Druid Hills, Oak Grove and Smokerise, you have NEIGHBORS (yes, church elders, philanthropists and country club members) that have done this to YOU and you don't even know it.

(4) It used to be that the "leaders" in the above referenced addresses would allow this to happen (they had a representative on the Planning Commission and Development Authority) in other parts of the county--while their deal was that that no inducments would be given to ruin their area, say a Smokerise or Oak Grove "leader" would ruin the area accross US 78 along Memorial Dr. However, the momentum behind the housing problem has reached the boundaries of even their neighborhoods--along "corridors", such as US 29 and Clairmont near Oak Grove.

...more later--a link to the greatest housing expose of all time--and why DeKalb (and now Clayton) is the way it is.

"Tapeworm Economics"

Anonymous said...

Blow this wide open, and get Dick to help

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow re-upping
It's up to bloggers to get the word out- the main stream media
(including the AJC, Champion, Dunwoody Crier, and Creative Loafing) has been mum about it for 30 plus years.
This won't change- they're concerned for their ad revenue, retention as legal organ status, or, in the AJC's case continuing
eligibility to be on the list of companies and "non-profits) that qualify to own Low Income Housing Tax Credit complexes.
Yes, the AJC and Cox are slumlords, but mums the word here-
just like it has been in their print editions for decades.

Ella Smith said...

I rent a condo on 29 and I have had in the past individuals who are on section 8 apply to rent my property. I do not think in itself section 8 renters should be thought of in a bad light or that their children do not perform well. Some perform very well.

When I taught at Lakeside I remember having many section 8 renters from the area above Spagetti Juction and I do remember my fructration with them as a group as students. They wanted things as a group handed to them. I am stereotyping which I hate to do but I do remember and I remember the frustration I felt as a teacher.

Ella Smith said...

Since I am a landlord I should have went to the Gala and found out what was happening so I could report back.

Cerebration said...

There's still time, Ella! Why don't you do that? Go to the website link in the article to buy your ticket - or call Olivia Burrell at 404-270-2508.

the event is this SAT, JUNE 27 at the Marriott at Century Center (convenient!)

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow suggesting we see how great a job Dekalb's landlords are doing.
Try checking out apartment for Stone Mountain. Be sure to read the current and former tenant reviews for prize properties such as Emerald Ridge.
I think it's swell that the housing authority appreciates Dekalb's landlords enough to throw a 50 dollar a ticket gala for them.
Ella- if you can afford the
absurd ticket price go to the HUD a rama ball this weekend, then give us a report from the belly of the beast.
I would also like a few book reports back after some of the posters read some of the reviews-
tell me that some of these hellholes ( often former and current tenant's own words) don't need to be renovated the correct way.
The housing authority likes to renovate older complexes so that their buddies can get tax breaks, and that their lawyers and bondits can rack up some steep fees. The worst of our elected officials like to see them renovated, and packed to the gills so that opposing votes are cancelled come the next election.
Son of thinks proper renovations are done two ways:
by bulldozer, or by utilizing vacant structures for practice for the fire department.

Ella Smith said...

I am going to take the day and think about it. I was going to the beach on Sat. afternoon. For you Cerebration I might attend the big party so I can come back and report on it.

To be honest, I have had a horrible time renting my place on HWY. 29 in Tucker. Obviously there are many landlords out there now. It is an extremely nice unit. I even have formal window covering. The problem is apparently the slumlords or other landlords can outbid me on rent. Well we will see about that. I own the condo and just pay the condo fees so I guess I will have to advertise the condo low to compete with these guys. Maybe I can learn more about section 8 if I go. Maybe this is the way for me to rent my place since I have had trouble not renting it by advertising it as a section 8 rental? Maybe I should go. Maybe I just am not in the flow of things and do not know what I am doing and need to learn how to do things the right way and may learn these things by attending this party.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow seeing if anyone did their homework assignment.
The homework assignment was to get on and read up what tenants have to say about the fine complexes in Stone Mountain, GA.
Read the descriptions about gunfire, unsupervised toddlers, burnt out units that are left boarded up. Read about unfilled swimming pools. Read on about overflowing dumpsters, large rats.
Keep going, and read about ant, spider, and roach infestations.
I encourage everyone to sample some of the tenant's postings on apartmentratings. com.
Once you've absorbed that,
consider this.
In many cases these complexes are receiving federal funds, through either section 8, or Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
At least one complex is OWNED by the Dekalb Housing Authority
(Spring Chase). Four of the complexes listed were actually
refianced after being foreclosed on. All of most likely received tax credits. All sound like pathetic hellholes. The one that got some of the worst reviews was actually abandoned and boarded up.
(That'd be The Lakes at Stone Mountain).
HUD standards dictate that
properties receiving their vouchers or tax credits are to be clean, safe, and have systems in working order. That doesn't mean
insect or rat infested, with drug dealers sitting out on car hoods,
gunfire as a nightly occurrence, or having A/C or heat that doesn't work, or electical outlets that shoot out flames.
Instead of the Housing Authority having an appreciation gala for Dekalb's landlords, the feds should show up with some paddy wagons and load some white collar criminals and take them to jail.

Anonymous said...

DeKlab didn't just issue LIHTC to slumlord under Vernon Jones. It was rampant under the Liane Levetan administration.

Ella Smith said...

Actually, I do know a little about this as I went to a workshop on SECTION 8 at one time but to this point I have never had a SECTION 8 Tenant.

The Housing Authority has to send someone out to make sure that all appliances are working, that the home is not infestated, and that it is up to pretty high standards. If this is not being done then someone at the Housing Authority that oversees the Housing Authority is not doing their job. The inspection appears not to be a slack inspection and if it is someone does need to go to jail.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow continues....
Curious that someone else was
paying some attention to what happened during Liane's regime.
Prior to the mid 90s, not much building occurred in Dekalb (then South Dekalb exploded).
Liane took office in 1992. Around the mid 90s, she wrote an op-ed article that 10,000 apartment units had been renovated in Dekalb. Now, let's see how many of these units were market rate.
Four years before Liane took office there were 11,700 students in the Dekalb County School System on free or reduced meals. Two years after Liane became CEO (1994)
the free or reduced meal figures had ballooned to 35,400. All this during a time hardly any building occurred.
So.... The statement made by anonymous that LIHTC was "rampant"
under Liane is a pretty reasonable assessment.

Cerebration said...

Interesting reviews -- I didn't see too many complimentary ones, but I did see a lot of scary ones.

Village at Stone Mountain -

Lakes at Stone Mountain -
the roaches are taking over, the gangsters they rent the apartments to makes no sense..and forget parking within your apt. lot, its always filled with so many cars that don't belong there, they tell you they have an on duty officer, don't believe it..unless he's considered part of the gang..not to mention the drug/hore house underneath your apt.,cracked walls, nevermind the pets they claim they don't allow..and to threathen residents about no longer accepting checks, only money orders...WOW!!!DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY Please if you have childrens...find another complex decent enough to raise them in, and electric billing well thats more than OUTRAGEOUS and nothing can be done about it so im told!!!!

But Dunwoody has problems too -
Most pizza places will not deliver to Broadstone Village, becasue there was on two seperate occasions where jumped and robbed. One of the two times the man was held at gun point and beat so bad he was placed in the hospital.

Do we still have code enforcement or have they cut back that dept too?

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow responding to the codes issue

When Vernon began his term, there was a program began where they were basically deputizing citizens as codes enforcement officers. It must have been inconvenient for some of the long time leadership's "friends" (that'd be slumlords), because they dissolved the program due to unforseen "difficulties".
There is a way to bypass Dekalb's good old boy network. That is to take some of the worst of these offenders to civil court and sue them as an unabated public nuisance.
Anyone that has a crime attracting apartment or condo complex nearby that is the source of overheard gunfire might consider getting some neighbors together and filing such a lawsuit.
The same logic applies to neighbors of some of our by the week hotels (hello, neighborhoods near the Northlake Crack Den Inn).
Anyone wanting to begin research on how to do so might go to the Nolo press website, and order a copy of "Safe Streets". There's a chapter in it about successes that neighborhoods in the northwest have had with suing problem properties.
The last time I researched public nuisance lawsuits for unabated nuisances in the state of Georgia, there was a possible reward of $6,000 per household
filing against the nuisance property. If an involved area could get 20 or more households together to file suit, you could do some major damage to some of the worst offenders.
Anyone that gets on Scan Dekalb for the mugshots for either
Dekalb County or their local zipcode will soon discover one thing- each zipcode will have an address where more arrests are made on an ongoing basis then almost anywhere else. In Tucker, there's two addresses we see very frequently- the 3500 block of Lawrenceville Highway, and the 2400
block of Idlewood Road, right across from Tucker Middle School.
Both are apartment complexes, and both are managed by the same firm: Miles Properties. You can almost make a parlor game of tracking addresses, and then getting an "Apartment Finder" magazine to see who the owners or management companies are where the most persons are arrested. Miles ranks pretty high up, as does Harbor (any complex beginning with
Maybe the public can start leaning on Ellis a bit to pursue codes enforcement. I'd love to see them be able to use some of the federal funds that Dekalb will receive to re-hire some of the better employees from the development department, and put them to work in an extensive codes enforcement patrol.
Ideally, Dekalb could create a hotline where tenants could write in complaints about the worst offenders.
There is no justifiable answer on why some of these properties receiving fat tax credits ( while still keeping rental proceeds ) are allowed to deteriorate to the point that the tenant reviews speak about.

Anonymous said...

John Heneghan alert!!!!
Son of awcomeonow asking that you review this thread, particularly the "Broadstone Village" reviews that Cere wrote about.
Is Broadstone Village in the city limits of Dunwoody? If so, shouldn't the city become the first municipality in Dekalb to have a lower tolerance level for such a poorly managed property?
Sick codes on 'em, John. Any
property renting to human rats most likely has some four legged
ones also running around.

Anonymous said...

Some of the reviews talk about three hundred dollar electric bills. A friend on the force told me that's how they sometimes make drug arrests.
Someone taps into your power meter so they can run some grow lights. The power company sometimes will help them track down the culprit.

Anonymous said...

The gangs' all here Northlake.
(Obvious relationship to the low-income housing trak here)

Creeping over from Chamblee-Tucker, now on Evans down from quaint insulated Evansdale Elementary (across from Lake Louis, now a hellhole) and Henderson Mill Road.

Yep--sturdy, conservative and tight-knit Henderson now invaded by gangs--or at least gang "markings" (as in dogs marking their spots).

These cockroaches are grouping at the old football field at Henderson Middle School, across from what used to be a stable, family-filled apartment complex. Gunfire in the school parking lot.

The e-mails are flying, reports are going into the police--the bridge over I-285 has been defaced, but immediately cleaned off.

The police have responded, but as soon as the "lights go out", the cockroaches come back out.

Maybe this is the idea of the owners of Lake Louise and Chateuax Avant Toilet who have been rebuffed by the neighborhood on redevelopment efforts. So they let the place go to punks and violate the neighborhood, so the neighbors vote in favor of redevelopment.

BTW--Hey Briarcliff and Oak Grove--get behind your brothers on Henderson, get aware--help stop it here--or you're next.

"The Last Resort"
(They called it paradise, I don't know why,
call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye)

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow re-reading
some of the tenant reviews from Stone Mountain, Clarkston, and Avondale. Almost all bad.
It's pathetic that the housing authority is having an appreciation gala for Dekalb Landlords, when they are literally doing a criminally bad job at it.
In a just world many of the tenants that posted about these complexes would be able to show up in the parking lot at the Marriott on Saturday night with lanterns and pitchforks.
The other issue I noticed was that the complexes are (predictably) beginning to go into foreclosure. Dirty little secret:
the legal counsel that represents the housing authority also handles commercial foreclosures in the state of Georgia. Win-win situation for them, dismal situation for everyone else.
By the way: I might begin to track some foreclosures and tell
those paying attention which complexes are due to be refinanced through housing authority bond hearings. They also have to have a court hearing to have the finances
okayed. Anybody feel like showing up and saving some neighborhoods?

Cerebration said...

son of - I'm sure you LOVED reading this in the AJC --

Squatters take over, rent out vacant homes
Large number of foreclosures contributes to problem

By Rhonda Cook
Friday, June 26, 2009

The neighbors in Parkview noticed a lot of people coming and going from a house on Eleanor Street in an unincorporated portion of DeKalb County.

They assumed they were renters. ...

There's much more -