Atlanta City Council bans investor harassment of homeowners

Atlanta city council member Matt Westmoreland said the city is making progress on efforts to spend workforce development money. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

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Atlanta city council member Matt Westmoreland said the city is making progress on efforts to spend workforce development money. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

The Atlanta City Council has outlawed the predatory tactics of investors who coerce longtime residents into selling their homes.

With an ordinance passed Monday, the council prohibited land speculators from contacting any homeowner twice within a six-month period if the homeowner or their representative asks for contact to cease.

Atlanta has seen home values rise by as much as 50 percent over the past decade, according the ordinance, authored by Councilman Matt Westmoreland.

Residents in poorer traditionally Black neighborhoods have reported receiving a barrage of offers from investors to purchase their property. The homeowners often do so at below market rates.

The ordinance says that in four Atlanta neighborhoods — Pittsburgh, Venetian Hills, Grove Park and Sylvan Hills — “more than one in four homes sold by someone living in them sold for a price that was less than half the estimated fair market value.”

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