Cupid ‘sucker punches’ Habitat for Humanity with NO vote on South Cobb Housing
After nine years on the Cobb County Commission, eight as District 4 Commissioner and 10 months as Chair, there is no new thinking when it comes to affordable housing or solving this blaring problem in South Cobb from Commission Chair Lisa Cupid.
There was no leadership last week from Cupid on affordable housing as she mustered the word NO to vote against Habitat for Humanity Homes and the housing they were advocating for the unhoused who desperately need it in our community. Despite Cupid’s NO vote, the measure was approved 4 to 1 for the nonprofit’s latest proposal that would bring a dozen homes near Six Flags Over Georgia.
As families have been begging for affordable housing in the area for years, Cupid has spent her time on the commission kicking the ‘proverbial’ can down the road. Cupid expressed concerns over Habitat for Humanity’s pattern of development in south Cobb, yet Cupid offered no new or original plans of her own having sat on this same body for nearly a decade. Cupid feigned concern for the community saying she was deeply conflicted and feared the prevalence of subsidized housing would negatively impact the area. This is the same Lisa Cupid who never worried about the concerns she now advocates. This is the same Lisa Cupid who lived in the area before she recently abandoned the community for a Vining’s zip code after being elected Cobb Chair. In fact, this is the same Lisa Cupid who ignored the communities’ cries for the development of Magnolia Crossing which would have solved many of the problems she now points to in South Cobb.
For years, Cupid stuck her head in the sand and ignored community advocates who demanded the development of Magnolia Crossing. Cupid allowed a 50-acre hole in the ground in South Cobb to go undeveloped for years instead of being the champion she now tries to transform herself into. During the commission meeting, Cupid said, “Your neighborhood gas station shouldn’t be your grocery store.” This is what Cupid has allowed to occur for many in our South Cobb Community for nearly a decade. The only other tangible thing Cupid has pushed has been having a Dollar Tree on almost every corner in South Cobb and various developments for her favorite land attorney Garvis Sams.
Prior to the vote, Jessica Gill, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta had called on the Board of Commissioners to “make affordable housing a priority” by supporting homes which could go to teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
South Cobb residents rightly questioned why Habitat’s number of homes are directed to South Cobb, pointing to 274 of the 383 habitat homes being built in this area. However, housing proponents we spoke to say the driver for housing is the ‘need’, saying there exists a greater need in this community for affordable housing over other areas of Cobb. They say what is not being talked about by the community is holding elected leaders accountable for failing for years to bring more affordable housing of any kind to South Cobb. Some say that instead of affordable housing, Cupid has been leading the charge for developers to build homes that families that need them cannot afford. They point to numerous developments Cupid has approved during her first year as Chair for Sams and his clients in South Cobb. Some call what Cupid is doing, worrying about income, as the ‘precursor’ to regentrification of South Cobb which will push people out who cannot afford the higher priced homes or apartments. Others call it Cupid being ‘tone deaf’ as usual.
Defending Habitat from the verbal attack it was receiving, Gill said this development will be unlike others, pointing to the new Hillcrest community being governed by a homeowners’ association, collecting fees for upkeep costs of a community garden, and offering residents a dog park. She also pointed to additional restrictions that will be placed on homeowners “to ensure long term maintenance and quality of homes while promoting curb appeal.
Many say that if we had the proper leadership during the past years, development of Magnolia Crossing could have cured this problem and more as it would have included affordable housing, medical facilities, and the grocery store Cupid now speaks of. Instead, rumor has it that Cupid will allow those who do not live in this area to turn that prime real estate into warehouses instead of affordable housing.
They say this further proves the point that Cupid doesn’t care about affordable housing in the South Cobb community. They say Cupid talks a good game, but her rhetoric will not get the unhoused into homes. This requires leadership, which voters are now seeing that Cupid does not possess.