“They Treat Me Like a Piece of S—.” Residents of Ebenezer Baptist Church-owned low-income housing building served eviction notices for as little as $28.55 in past-due rent.
Washington, D.C. – A bombshell report was published this morning in the Washington Free Beacon describing how Senator Raphael Warnock’s church not only owns a low-income housing building in Atlanta, but they served eviction notices during the height of the pandemic for as little as $28.55 in past-due rent.
This all comes as it was recently reported that Warnock receives a staggering $7,417 a month housing allowance. In fact, according to the Free Beacon’s reporting, “A dozen eviction lawsuits were filed against Columbia Tower residents over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the first one in February 2020 and, most recently, in September 2022. The total sum of past-due rent cited in the lawsuits is just $4,900, a figure that could have been covered by one of Warnock’s monthly housing stipends from the church.”
What’s more concerning is that not only did many residents have no idea the building was owned by Ebenezer, but some residents feel horribly mistreated by the building’s management:
Columbia Tower residents, who told the Free Beacon they were unaware that Ebenezer Baptist Church owns their building, described living under the rule of landlords who don’t hesitate to go to court to evict them and their neighbors, even if they’re just a few days short on rent.
“They treat me like a piece of shit. They’re not compassionate at all,” said Columbia Tower resident Phillip White, a 69-year-old African American who says he served in Vietnam and received an eviction notice on Sept. 20 for failure to meet a $192 rent payment. It was Columbia Tower’s second attempt to evict White, who received his first eviction notice in September 2021 for $179 in past-due rent. That case was dropped after White paid up, plus an additional $325 in fees, he told the Free Beacon.
What’s more shocking, some of these eviction notices came just weeks after Warnock tweeted in opposition to evictions due to the pandemic.
Statement from NRSC Spokesman T.W. Arrighi: “Raphael Warnock has more than a little explaining to do. While he collects nearly $90,000 – almost two and a half times the median income in Atlanta – from his church as a housing allowance, he was serving eviction notices in the middle of the pandemic for 28 bucks worth of unpaid rent. This should deeply unsettle Georgia voters, not just as a sign of blatant hypocrisy, but of unjust cruelty from a wealthy man of his stature.”