The new owner of a dilapidated apartment complex on Atlanta’s southside is gearing up to relocate its tenants so construction crews can begin bringing the community up to livable standards. 

For years, tenants at the Forest Cove apartments lived in what they called “uninhabitable” conditions, sharing space with rats, roaches and mold. In late April, however, the complex’s property manager, Millennia Housing Management (MHM), purchased the 396-unit development with plans to revive it to the tune of some $40 million — a more than $100,000-per-apartment renovation.

Before MHM starts reimagining the withering community, though, it will need to find places to put Forest Cove residents while their homes are renovated.

Windows are boarded up, even though people still live at the Forest Cove apartments. (Credit: Google Maps)

So, “to ensure the relocation process is both sensitive to and supports the needs of the residents,” the firm enlisted a roster of organizations to facilitate that process, including APD Urban Planning and Management, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF), Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Housing Justice League, Open Doors and Purpose Built Schools, according to MHM spokeswoman Valerie Jerome.

“We expect to finalize the schedule for the small-group resident meetings this week and subsequently start outreach,” Jerome said of the next steps in the relocation operation.

The goal is to ensure all of the community’s residents can return when the restoration is complete, and also to keep them close to their jobs and schools during the relocation, Michael Lucas, head of the AVLF told Atlanta Civic Circle after the April sale.

Open Doors, for instance, is tasked with “identifying offsite housing locations, securing lease agreements and collaborating with both residents and partners,” Jerome said. “The process of identifying units that may work well for families has started.”

Additional details about the relocation and construction timeline are forthcoming, MHM representatives said.