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We aim to offer top-notch journalism and crucial resources to help Atlantans better understand the problems we face as a community. And while the city’s affordable housing crisis is among the most pressing of issues, we know it’s critical to delve into the many other policies and practices that make Atlanta tick. In this pursuit, we could use your help. Tell us what we’re missing. Teach us how to be better stewards of our great city.

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  1. Steven Lindsay February 18, 2021

    thank you the attention to the affordable housing crisis. Illegal Short-term rentals (less than the 3 months in Code) are taking affordable housing units and disrupting communities and the hotel industry.
    My family follows this topic with interest as we’re are personally impacted.
    For example four duplex housing units in our street are operated exclusively as short-term rentals, contrary to our zoning law which states the minimum term allowed is three months. They are apparently owned by people out of state who none of the neighbors ever see. The yards are often unkempt. Trash bins over flow or left on the street.
    One of them is next door to us.
    Whereas previously we knew the single mother and her son that lived next door, shared play-dates, Childcare, joined in local events, now we never know who is going to be staying there. Domestic arguments have broken out. Used syringes left in the driveway. Police have attended.
    We have three kids. It’s very disconcerting. How do we know convicted sex-offenders or other criminals are not staying beside us?
    Because of this I’ve looked into past reporting on the issue. Several cities have conducted serious studies and all have found a negative impact on local communities, and even more interesting to me, they have found it is large businesses that are the main beneficiaries, not ‘mom and pop’ landlords. (refer to the attached copies)
    Most of the rentals are owned by very large businesses that take up multiple housing units, removing them from available long-term housing and disrupting community connections. These companies have no commitment or connection to the communities they impact so negatively.
    I think a solution to the problem without penalizing ‘mom and pop’ type landlords would be to allow Resident landlords to let short term, whilst requiring disembodied companies to have proper hotel or boarding house licensing and zoning permits. This is already allowed under current zoning laws, but it needs to be enforced.
    This would also help support the Hotel and Resort industry which has taken such a hit from the Covid shutdowns and travel restrictions, but does for the most part conform to proper zoning and licensing laws (as well as sex-crime laws). other studies here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nT5NdkpirhkRmL2LoqlD5Y0H1-8xQDWH?usp=sharing

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