August 31, 2020

Integral Litigates Rather Than Mitigates Atlanta’s Housing Crisis

ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Having once again rushed to the courtroom instead of the boardroom, Integral continues to litigate…

ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Having once again rushed to the courtroom instead of the boardroom, Integral continues to litigate rather than mitigate the housing crisis in Atlanta.  On August 28, Integral filed a meritless motion in Fulton County Superior Court.  Integral gave Atlanta Housing no warning that it was filing the motion. 

Integral’s motion and its insipid public statement are neither accurate nor complete.  As will be shown in court, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has initially rejected the transfer of property, finding that the form of the transaction violated HUD’s regulations. HUD also expressed concern that the agreed-upon price was for less than fair market value. As Atlanta Housing has maintained all along, the ball was ultimately in HUD’s court, and HUD appears unwilling to play.

Instead of looking to work with HUD and Atlanta Housing, Integral lashed out with unsubstantiated allegations, an inaccurate court filing and personal attacks against Dr. Christopher Edwards, the Atlanta Housing Board of Commissioners and other Atlanta Housing officials to disparage and intimidate them because of a decision from HUD that was based on federal regulations.

Integral’s personal attacks on the integrity and character of Dr. Edwards, a pillar in the Atlanta community and a surgeon on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, are consistent with the company’s practice of schoolyard name-calling. Earlier public statements arrogantly referred to Atlanta Housing commissioners as “clowns” and “in diapers.”

“Integral owes Dr. Edwards an apology,” said AH CEO Eugene Jones. “Dr. Edwards is a man of honor and principle, whose contributions to this community, to Grady Memorial Hospital, Morehouse School of Medicine and other institutions have made this city a better place. Integral’s childish, arrogant attacks don’t help advance their cause.” Dr. Edwards has always maintained that it is effectively HUD’s land, HUD’s money and HUD’s decision.

While Integral focused on its litigation strategy, the city and nation came under the grips of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Courts closed while public health and housing needs swelled. Luckily, Atlanta Housing was prepared.  Under the leadership of CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. and Dr. Edwards, Atlanta Housing was uniquely positioned to understand both the public housing and public health needs of the city. COVID-19 cases continue at high rates, and Atlanta Housing’s focus remains on its constituents, not Integral’s bottom line. 

Integral’s “ready, fire, aim” approach is not only misdirected, it is coming at the wrong time. Atlanta Housing will leave it to its attorneys to respond to the court filing, but neither Atlanta Housing’s leadership nor its staff will be distracted by Integral’s latest attempt to value its bottom line over the needs of Atlantans.  Indeed, the Atlanta Housing Board and CEO are proud that thousands of brand new families have been housed by Atlanta Housing during these past few years – families that have been housed in new units constructed and rehabilitated on Atlanta Housing lands and other sites, and with the new Housing Choice Vouchers that Atlanta Housing has issued.  Our work will continue.

About Atlanta Housing

Led by President and CEO Eugene Jones, Jr., the Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta, Georgia (AH), is the largest housing authority in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation. AH provides and facilitates affordable housing resources for nearly 22,000 low-income households comprised of approximately 50,000 people.

These affordable housing resources include AH-owned residential communities, AH-sponsored mixed-income, mixed-finance residential communities, tenant-based vouchers, project based rental assistance, supportive housing arrangements and homeownership opportunities. AH’s programs are funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

Visit Atlanta Housing at atlantahousing.org or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at @housingatlanta.

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SOURCE Atlanta Housing