Series: The Divided American Dream

AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS FALL BEHIND IN ATLANTA



When the new subdivisions were rising everywhere here in the 1990s and early 2000s, with hundreds and hundreds of fine homes on one-acre lots carved out of the Georgia forest, the price divide between this part of De­Kalb County and the northern part wasn’t so vast.


Now, a house that looks otherwise identical in South DeKalb, on the edge of Atlanta, might sell for half what it would in North DeKalb. The difference has widened over the years of the housing boom, bust and recovery, and Wayne Early can’t explain it.


“We can all guess exactly why it’s race, and we can have theories, but the facts are clear,” says John O’Callaghan, president of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. “Values in South Metro Atlanta, particularly in African American neighborhoods, are coming back very, very slowly. And it’s going to be a long time before we get these neighborhoods back to where they were.”


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