Anti-Gentrification-Buy Back the Block Campaign Neighborhood forces across the country are fighting back by creating ad-hoc organizations, protest groups, cooperatives, non-profits and other entities to organize against gentrification, the Pittsburgh community in Atlanta is no different. The community is pushing back with policy initiatives, public anti-gentrification campaigns and land-acquisition campaigns to control the resources in the community needed to create activist housing, low/moderate income housing and land trust for long-term sustainability. Our goal is to use this model to stop gentrification and create a healthy Black community.
Please support our property buy-back campaign. We currently own two properties in the community. Make a donation and in the comment line write Buy-back and your investment/donation will go towards the purchasing of additional property.
Gentrification is a process of transforming a neighborhoods racial and economic makeup. One in which residents (both owners and renters) in moderate to low-income communities are subject to changing market forces created by governments and private developers that increases the rental and tax values of their homes/residences beyond their ability to pay. Owners are also persuaded to sell their homes by developers/investors looking to control the property stock of the community. In the United States this usually occurs in urban areas where the majority population is Black (or other persons of color) and are poor and working class and the new arrivals are moderate to upper-income whites.
Gentrification is usually sold under the guise of “urban planning” meant to improve neighborhood with new parks, dog parks, walking and biking trails, upscale coffee shops, eateries and new bars specializing in craft beers and wines. Housing prices begin to increase as luxury and so-called “mixed-income” housing is developed.
Residents are told that safety is a top priority as new policing techniques, cameras and arrest patterns are implemented against poor and or jobless residents. The older residents are promised safer neighborhoods but are not part of the planning process of what the new neighborhood will look like. This dynamic currently underway in the city of Atlanta and more specifically in the community of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Community, Atlanta Ga Founded in 1883 by formally enslaved Africans who became Black industrial workers, Pittsburgh is one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods. It became a destination for families looking to move away from counties to the south of Atlanta where the Ku Klux Klan was active. The railyards that skirted the community were a major source of pollution, and lookers-on likened it to the smog created by the steel mills in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The association stuck, and the community would become permanently known as Pittsburgh. African-American businesses lined McDaniel Street in its early days as segregation prevented blacks from shopping in white business districts.
Pittsburgh boasts a number of assets that are now making it attractive to developers and investors. It is connected via an ample grid of city streets, and located very close to Interstates 75-85. It is an Atlanta Belt-Line neighborhood – a distinction limited to 40 or so communities along a 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit currently under construction. A new study has shown that the “Belt-line” project is devastating Atlanta’s affordable housing, “Sustainable for whom? Green urban development, environmental gentrification, and the Atlanta Beltline,” The report outlines sharp increases in home values in low-income and largely African-American communities in the southwest segment, the next planned area for the BeltLine to break ground. Neighborhoods such as Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, and Westview have seen median sale prices jump 68 percent from 2011 to 2015.
The CMB community house hosts our Siafu Youth Corps, the home-schooling program of a partner organization- AJCLLC; Renegade Clothing coop, and we are developing a food sovereignty program that will feature a Black farmers market this spring. We are working with others in the neighborhood to develop and launch an organizing campaign, and we have also purchased a second property in the community.