Renters rights activist Monica DeLancy, a resident of Mableton, is scheduled for an eviction hearing on June 9, 2023 at 9 a.m. in Cobb County Magistrate Court. DeLancy said after a new management company took over the complex, the door of an advocacy office run from the complex was locked, and the company refused to renew her lease or to take her rent money.
The company then gave her access to the office and met with her, but continued with the eviction proceedings.
DeLancy and her supporters said that the refusal to renew the lease was a result of her advocacy work around maintenance issues at the complex, one of three complexes that had a history of code violation under various owners going back at least to 2018.
A long-time advocate for renters, DeLancy is the founder and director of We Thrive in Riverside Renters Association.
Recently she has been organizing a group of Black women renters who speak during community comments before the Mableton City Council and the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, asking for a moratorium on evictions.
The group sent the following request to the Mableton City Council:
We Thrive on Riverside Renters Association request for the city of Mableton to pass the following ordinances immediately and to request an immediate moratorium on evictions in the city limits of Mableton until the city council officially meet and review the terms of eviction proceedings.
Mableton will be the largest city with the most black and brown families being evicted.
1st ordinance request to request that property owners do not set personal items of evicted tenants on the street, curb or parking lot because this Is a public safety concern, health hazard and causes emotional toll on evictees. We request that an ordinance is passed that property owners place personal items in a storage, and provide evictees at least 60 days to take over the storage or remove items from the storage.
2nd ordinance No forcible evictions are to take place in the city of Mableton during the month of December, when the weather is under 40 degrees during the winter months and if it’s raining.
3rd ordinance we request that any eviction hearings in the city of Mableton will require that that the defendant ( evictee) is represented in court by an Attorney. If an attorney is not provided for the defendant then the eviction hearings are rescheduled.
4. We request that you adopt Cobb County codes that require all properties to reach code enforcement standards before business licenses are approved. ( the actual code can be provided by Cobb County Commissioner Monique Sheffield.
5. We request that an ordinance is passed that if a tenant is given a just cause eviction ( non renewal of lease) then the property must provide the tenant with at least 2 months of rental assistance or equal the security deposit and must be returned within 48 hours of the request.
The group points to the demographics of the tenants facing eviction at the regular Friday morning hearings, the majority of whom are Black women with children.
DeLancy lives in the Silver Creek Crossing apartments, formerly Kingsley Village, on Riverside Parkway, and was informed that eviction proceedings had begun after Dasmen Residential property, the current owners of the property, refused to renew her lease.
On May 2, several organizations held a press conference in front of the apartment complex in support of DeLancy, described in the following announcement for the event:
We Thrive on Riverside Renter’s Association, in conjunction with the Housing Justice League of Atlanta, Cobb SCLC and other organizations, will hold a press conference to outline the abuses and retaliation taking place against tenants and tenant advocates who call out absentee corporate landlords’ neglect of maintenance and safety issues, targeting those who assist tenants in that and other properties.
DeLancy sent the Courier an email with her chronology of the events leading to the eviction hearing:
As a resident of Dasmen Residential property ( Kingsley Village/ Silver Creek Crossing Apartments) in Cobb County
I am facing a retaliation eviction
I have accomplished the following
Provided resident activities and youth services Since 2009
Organized National Night Out Against Crime events in the Riverside/ Six Flags community since 2009
Officially formed We Thrive on the drive community group in 2012 changed to We Thrive on Riverside Renters Association and official non profit 2020
Every summer make sure youth have summer activities and provided summer lunch program
In 2019 residents won counter claims against the property for maintenance neglect
In 2019 I assisted the property to negotiate their $86,000 fines they were facing to pay Cobb County because of their maintenance neglect
in 2019 the apartment complex requested we Thrive on Riverside Renters Association to assist with resident relations and provide services to the property
In December 2020 We Thrive on Riverside Renters Association and the thrive resource center was featured on CNN to discuss the eviction crisis on black Women and families
In 2021 and 2022 Oprah Winfrey charitable foundation awarded we thrive on Riverside Renters Association grants to support their initiatives
Provided rental assistance to 75 families and provided other resources and established thriving families project 8 graduates .
In 2021 partnered with Must Ministries mobile food pantry at Silver Creek Crossing Apartments
In 2022 the property became managed by Dasmen Residential
in January 2022 I was personally offered a lease renewaL
In February 2022 after the regional manger met with me and was giving a list of resident concerns the regional manager voided my lease renewal and my resident services
In February 2022 3 people graduated from Resident leadership program
In June and July the apartment complex returned my rental payments and refused my payments.
In September 2022 the apartment complex changed the locks of the resource center
In October 2022 the apartment complex filed eviction on me for non payment
In December 2022, 3 people graduated from Parent leadership program
In January 2023 we thrive on Riverside Renters Association was awarded Community Foundation of Atlanta grant to support thriving resident leaders program
In February 2023 I was given a temporary stay because I filed bankruptcy