Mayor Andre Dickens signs legislation introduced by Councilmember Jason Winston to help relocate residents of the condemned Forest Cove apartment complex in southeast Atlanta.

After approval by the Atlanta City Council at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Andre Dickens signed legislation to allocate the first $1.5 million of a planned $9.1 million investment to support the relocation of Forest Cove residents.

Councilmember Jason Winston, whose district includes the condemned Forest Cove apartment complex in southeast Atlanta, sponsored the legislation in partnership with the mayor’s office.

“Every resident deserves the dignity of safe and quality housing, but that has long been lacking for the families living at Forest Cove,” Dickens said. “While this isn’t a city-owned property, I could not stand by as these residents continued to be left behind. That’s why I have directed the city to step in to take urgent action. Thank you to Councilmember Winston and the entire City Council for their urgent partnership on this issue.” 

The mayor also signed a partnership agreement with the Community of Foundation of Greater Atlanta, which will be facilitating the relocation of Forest Cove residents. The funding, which is drawn from the City’s American Rescue Plan funds, will be immediately allocated to the Community Foundation. The remaining balance of the $9.1 million commitment will be allocated in the near future.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Mayor Dickens and my colleagues on Council in support of this paper,” Winston said. “Mayor Dickens’ signing of the legislation on the day it has passed through the Council is indicative of our belief that no family should live in deplorable conditions and is the first step toward ending the damaging housing conditions within our city. My office will continue to work toward resolutions that will help the people entrust our city government’s ability to meet these challenges.”

Separately, the mayor’s office is working with the Atlanta Apartment Association and other property owners to identify housing units for families moving out of Forest Cove to consider. Dickens and the Association co-hosted a call with property owners to identify potential units last week and is today broadening the call for property owners with vacant units on the critical relocation effort.

“With a housing market this tight, we know we need to pound the pavement to find the housing units that these families need,” Dickens added. “We’re asking property owners and managers across Atlanta to reach out to see how they can help close the gap and get these families into safe and quality homes. Taking care of our neighbors at Forest Cove is a chance for Atlantans to show what it means to be a truly inclusive community.”

Property owners with vacant units are urged to contact housing@atlantaga.gov.

Other highlights from the Atlanta City Council include:

• Adopted legislation outlining increased oversight, accountability, resident participation, and a commitment to improved project delivery for the “Moving Atlanta Forward” program, which will be voted on by Atlanta residents during the May 24 special election.

• Voted in favor of a $2.5 million contract with SP+ Red Bridge to manage parking operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

• Adopted legislation outlining increased oversight, accountability, resident participation, and a commitment to improved project delivery for the “Moving Atlanta Forward” program, which will be voted on by Atlanta residents during the May 24 special election.

• A resolution requesting the Fulton County Tax Commissioner to no longer sell City of Atlanta solid waste service fee liens for residents 65 years of age and older.

• A resolution to request the Department of Human Resources provide a report listing the employees within Public Works, Watershed Management and Parks and Recreation who were eligible to receive premium pay funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

• Councilmember Jason Dozier introduced a resolution in support of putting an Amtrak passenger rail station at the Centennial Yards project in Downtown Atlanta. The property, formerly known as The Gulch, had long been eyed as the location for a multi-modal station before it was snapped up for the mixed-use development now underway there. Dozier said in a tweet: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore passenger rail service to Atlanta’s city center, and we must seize that moment. The Centennial Yards development will be transformative for our city, and with passenger rail, I aim for it to be transformative for our region.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.