March 14, 2023
MARCH 14, 2023 – The Center for Community Progress—the only national nonprofit dedicated to tackling vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties—supports Georgia’s proposed HB 404, the Safe at Home Act, currently being considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill makes important steps toward protecting renters in Georgia by, among other provisions, ensuring landlords provide housing that is safe for human habitation through Georgia’s first-ever warranty of habitability on residential rentals.
While Community Progress helps communities address existing vacant and deteriorated properties, the organization also encourages communities to design and implement policies that prevent vacancy and deterioration. Strengthening warranty of habitability language will not only protect the health and safety of renters, but also help minimize the number of properties that, in the future, could become vacant and deteriorated.
According to Center for Community Progress Director of Georgia Initiatives Odetta MacLeish-White, “We have seen that deteriorated properties directly threaten the health of their residents and harm their neighbors and communities. They also strain municipal finances through increased health, safety, and code enforcement calls. Because of a legacy of unjust policies and racist systems, low-income neighborhoods and communities of color deserve legal protections to ensure their homes are safe and healthy.”
HB 404 makes important progress, however, Community Progress stands with the following organizations in calling on the Georgia Legislature to further strengthen the bill’s language related to defining habitability and other protections to ensure all Georgians live in safe, equitable housing.
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