Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on March 16 ordered a 60-day suspension of evictions for non-payment of rent in housing owned or subsidized by city-funded agencies and organizations. 

The eviction moratorium, which could be extended by the City Council, is intended to help people who might lose income due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The order suspends an “issuance of termination” and the start of an eviction process for non-payment of rent, and also does not allow late fees or “other charges” for late or unpaid rent. 

“Social distancing, home confinement and self-quarantines are critical in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Bottoms said in a press release, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. “The ability for Atlanta residents to remain in their homes is a key component of our collective community efforts to prevent further exposure and spread of this virus. As mayor, I am calling on our partners to bolster our collective efforts and ensure housing stability for residents.” 

The agencies and organizations named include: the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta Beltline Inc., Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority, Invest Atlanta, Partners for Home and the Atlanta Department of Grants and Community Development. 

According to city press secretary Michael Smith, the moratorium applies to “all publicly funded and subsidized housing.” That includes properties built and operated by private companies on land technically owned by such entities as Invest Atlanta through bond transactions that provided tax abatements. 

The Piedmont Senior Tower at 3601 Piedmont Road in Buckhead, which provides affordable housing, is owned and managed by a private company, but the Atlanta Housing Authority owns the land.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.