A row of houses in Atlanta

A row of houses in Atlanta is pictured. Increasingly, low- and middle-income Georgians are being priced out of home ownership.

Credit: atlantaga.gov

The panel

Guest host Kevin Riley, @ajceditor, editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brian Eason, @brianeason, government reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration, @ChuckEfstration, (R) Dacula

King Williams, @IamKingWilliams, journalist and documentarian, The Atlanta Way

State Sen. Nikki Merritt, @merritt4ga, (D) Gwinnett


The breakdown

1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's series "American Dream for Rent" series asks why home ownership is out of reach for so many Georgians.

  • The investigation found large private equity firms buy up homes listed under $500,000 within hours of their listing.
  • The AJC found more than 65,000 homes were purchased by bulk buyers over the last decade, pushing small buyers out of the market and making it difficult to ensure property management makes necessary repairs.

LISTEN: Brian Eason speaks on how investors are outbidding middle-class families.

2. Georgia's economic developments have been touted as a major success. Where will new workers live?

  • In his State of the State address, Gov. Brian Kemp held up several examples of new manufacturing jobs coming to Georgia, like Morgan County's new Rivian plant. As affordability issues widen their reach, new Georgians could face issues moving here.

LISTEN: King Williams talks about how housing is not just an issue for metro Atlanta, but Georgia at large.

3. What legislation could address Georgia's housing crisis?

  • Majority Leader Chuck Williams says House Bill 404 would provide a "duty of habitability" in certain rental agreements. It's meant to counteract landlords who don't invest in upkeep for their properties.
  • While HB 404 has bipartisan support, Sen. Nikki Merritt says Democrats would like to see more legislation to protect tenants and make home ownership more accessible.

Friday on Political Rewind: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Maya Prabhu joins the panel.