South DeKalb apartment tenants rally for places to stay amid new management

Residents of Forest at Columbia Apartment gather outside DeKalb County Commissioner's office. (DorMiya Vance)

Residents of Forest at Columbia apartments say the property owner unexpectedly terminated all 200 of their leases due to “renovations” back in June. 

About 30 residents and advocates took their case to the DeKalb County Commissioner’s office yesterday for a rally in Decatur. 

The group took a stance while chanting and holding signs that read, “housing is a human right.”

Residents said their landlord, Meridian Management Group, told them they must be out of the complex by the end of August, but many of them don’t have the money to move or afford a new apartment.

Brenda Green has lived in the complex for fifteen years now. She says being older makes moving on such short notice more difficult. 

“I’m 77 years old,” she said. “How am I going to find a place off of what my income (is)? I can’t do it!”

The residents want to keep their units with reinstated leases at the same cost. They’re only asking the company to relocate them while renovations take place.

When asked for comment, Meridian Management Group did not respond to requests.