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I need actors

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aaron dot dylan dot kearns at gmail dot com

Story of the photo. I've made two films about gentrification. This is a photo of me enjoying a snow day before the second apartment complex we were gentrified out of in two years. Around 50 units were immediately turned around into condos for sale in the $300,000 to $450,000 range. Residents were notified they were gentrified out on Halloween night, the knock on the door turning out not to be trick-or-treaters but the new owners with a paper to be signed acknowledging we had 90 days to vacate. Two days before, fully aware we were being gentrified out, the management company had lied and told us we would have our new lease for the next year that month. Some other residents, students, had recently moved in with a year's lease, only to be now notified they had to vacate. 30 days after receiving our notice we were told that we needed to move immediately or things would get "difficult" for us, as our building was the first one they wanted to renovate. Immediately thereafter, they removed the roof over our end of the building, for repairs, and neglected to tarp the building so that in one weekend we received water damage to the extent that part of a bedroom ceiling fell in. We were fortunate to find a new home and get out within a week, so that we were out of the building within about 45 days of our having received our notice. It's expensive to move. Consider the students who had just moved in, who now had to come up with all the funds involved in moving yet again. Only a few months beforehand, just up the road from us, residents of a 600 unit building were gentrified out of their home for a condo conversion. Many were on fixed-incomes. Two years beforehand, even as we were gentrified out of Midtown Atlanta into this area just south of Buckhead, Curbed Atlanta had reported that with Midtown Atlanta gentrified, the now more affordable area between Midtown and Buckhead was ripe for gentrification. Indeed, gentrification promptly followed. As of 2019, the building in which we had previously lived in Midtown leases renovated, furnished apartments (likely for short-term) for as much as $4500 a month, $1500 a month over what is currently considered to be average rent for that area.

Photo header credit: Juli Kearns

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