Buy Back the Block

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Gentrification has become extremely prevalent over the years! If you’re not familiar with gentrification, it’s the process of pushing poor people out of lower-income areas to revamp them into middle to upper class spaces. Specifically with the building of the Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Beltline, there has been a rise in gentrification in certain areas of Atlanta.

This redevelopment has directly affected T.I.’s old neighborhood, Bankhead, where home prices have skyrocketed causing people who have lived in that community their entire lives to relocate.

Quick history lesson about Bankhead… It has always been considered the “lower end” of town, having been hit hard by the crack era. From around 1994-2012, the community and businesses within stalled due to the area’s harsh reputation. There was no major grocery chain, fresh produce, pharmacy, etc. But, there were liquor stores.

In response, T.I. has created “Buy Back the Block”, an initiative focused on buying and flipping as many buildings as possible to turn into affordable housing. T.I. has already purchased nine properties with Dynasty Real Estate Development and APD Urban Planning and Management totaling about $2.7 million.

"The cornerstone of wealth is home ownership. I’m working with seasoned real estate agent, Krystal Peterson, to ensure prices are within the range of what people who live in the neighborhood can pay. I’m constantly out there, on the ground, talking to people. They are very pleased to see that I’m involved, that I’m taking steps to have ownership within the community - they know I’m a product of it”, said T.I.

T.I. also wants to take the next step and add more green spaces, gardens and entertainment spaces. He plans to build a community that people are proud to live in which will ultimately urge them to maintain it for future generations.

“Why wait for someone else to come into a community where I went to elementary school, where I rode my bike and played?”