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GSU Professor Breaks Down Atlanta’s New ‘Nuisance’ Properties Ordinance

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order this week promising more scrutiny on the issue of "nuisance" properties in Atlanta.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order this week promising more scrutiny on the issue of "nuisance" properties in Atlanta.
Credit Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The city of Atlanta could soon take more control over how it deals with “nuisance” properties.

This, after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order this week promising more scrutiny on the issue.

The order doesn’t define what a nuisance property is, nor what the city will do to address them, but it does link them with public health, welfare and safety.

Dan Immergluck, a professor of urban studies at Georgia State University, pointed out his concerns with the order’s vague language.

“It really leaves open the implementers, the police, code enforcement, or others, to define that,” Immergluck said.

He said these ordinances have frequently been used to evict renters, which could lead to more people on the street in the coming months.

“If you have a low-income homeowner who is struggling, especially right now, with maybe maintaining their property, especially older homeowners who are on fixed incomes, then you might drive by that house and see that it needs work,” Immergluck said.

“And someone could call that a nuisance property.”

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.