Cathedral residents organize against new property management company
Residents of St. Phillips Cathedral Towers in Atlanta are pushing back against a plan to have a new property management company take over the Buckhead building.
National Church Residences could soon be managing senior housing at the Towers. Members of the Towers' residents' association rallied outside the property in protest of the agreement, citing reports of dangerous conditions at other NCR managed properties.
Vice Chairman Denise Smith said residents are worried.
“We simply want to have a good quality of life in these last years and to remain safe,” Smith said. “Our senior residents who live here are stressing over this nightmare, including people and parishioners of the church.”
Residents have been working with Atlanta nonprofit the Housing Justice League to organize against the contract. A petition against NCR gathered signatures from 148 out of 192 residents.
In a July letter, church leader the Very Rev. Samuel G. Candler wrote the church was looking forward to partnering with NCR to renovate and preserve Cathedral Towers housing.
“We believe this partnership with National Church Residences will improve the lives of the residents of the Towers, ensure that the Towers will remain dedicated to low-income senior housing, and allow the Cathedral to expand its efforts to support low-income seniors beyond any scope that we could have imagined before," he wrote.
NCR promises to renovate the building and pay $50 million for a 99-year lease. The residents’ association said attempts to negotiate with the church about the contract with NCR have been unsuccessful.
Cathedral Towers resident Michelle Worsham spoke at the rally about living at a previous property under NCR management.
“The music went on until 4 o’clock in the morning," Worsham said. "The prostitutes came in. They were leaving doors open. I complained, I even complained to the security guard, and the last time I complained he hung up on me.”
NCR did not respond to a GPB request for comment on the allegations.
The residents' association and the Cathedral Towers Steering Committee have issued a list of demands. It includes the church rescind any contract or leases signed so far and that no action be taken which reduces quality of life for residents.