Atlanta Commits Additional $2 Million to Nonprofit Star-C for Eviction Relief

Since the pandemic, affordable housing-education nonprofit has raised $16.5 million for rental assistance; continues work in partnership with City

ATLANTA, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant move to address housing instability, the Atlanta City Council has approved a $2 million donation to Star-C Corporation’s eviction relief program. This funding will assist low-income residents, offering up to $7,000 in relief for households earning up to 60% of the median income (~$62,000/family of four) or $43,000 for an individual.

Star-C has a proven track record in eviction relief, an area into which it pivoted during the pandemic. Since that time, the 10-year-old nonprofit has raised $16.5 million for rental assistance, starting with a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign. Its Eviction Relief Fund has helped over 5,000 families in 300 Metro apartment communities. The recent $2 million follows a $2 million initial donation from the City of Atlanta late last year.

“When you are already challenged financially, you are only one bad day or one serious health emergency from not being able to pay your rent or mortgage,” says Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “Thanks to City Council’s support for these efforts, we are now able to help even more families avoid worst-case scenarios and keep the stability that housing provides for both them and our community.”

The City’s initial donation helped prevent displacement for more than 220 households; since that time the city says over 500 more households have applied for assistance. All told, Metro Atlanta faced over 144,000 eviction filings in 2023. The funding, part of the city’s $100 million housing bond established last year, helps minimize eviction filings, particularly for residents experiencing temporary income loss.

Eligible households must face defined hardships such as income reduction, medical expenses, or transportation emergencies in addition to meeting income limitations.

“While Star-C pivoted into eviction relief out of what we thought was short-term necessity during the pandemic, the need remains great and we appreciate the City and City Council’s recognition of this need and of our efforts,” says Audrea Rease, Star-C Executive Director. “Building on a foundation of affordable housing for working families, we offer onsite afterschool programs and summer camps; food security; access to affordable healthcare; and, of course, now eviction relief.”

Rease notes that, this year, Star-C is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which it is marking with a Sept. 25 event. It also is in the midst of a two-year capacity building campaign, launched by a $1 million grant from a major health care company last year. She says this funding has been pivotal in scaling its programs to include more properties and provide even more resources to the communities served.

Star-C – an Atlanta-based non-profit with the mission to reduce transiency in local schools – partners with responsible landlords to provide wraparound services for children and families in underserved apartment communities. Through initiatives like Star-C Select, the 10-year-old organization provides periodic programming at an additional 47 communities that do not have onsite afterschool programs.

Media inquiries
Drew Plant (former Star-C Board Member)

Additional information
During “Star-C Week (July 22-26),” the nonprofit will take 150+ summer campers on life-changing field trips to expand their worlds beyond their immediate environment. The Star-C monthly breakfast on that Thursday will be in person and will feature a “speed mentoring” activity where community leaders share advice with summer campers. Over the course of the week, Star-C will host 16 back-to-school supply giveaways to distribute 800 backpacks at affordable/workforce housing communities across the area.

Tenants, non-profit leaders, municipal officials, potential donors and volunteers, and anyone else interested in affordable housing and the Star-C “eduhousing” model may want to attend one of the organization’s monthly breakfasts.

Star-C was founded by “compassionate capitalist” landlord Marjy Stagmeier, who chronicled the success of this eduhousing model in her book, Blighted: A Story of People, Politics, and an American Housing Miracle (University of Georgia Press). It presents one of Star-C’s Atlanta communities as an open-source model to inspire others concerned with the challenges of affordable housing.