Rapper T.I. is making moves in hopes of bringing back the Center Hill section of Atlanta, the neighborhood where he grew up, to what it was like before. He has already invested about $3 million in buying up property in the area in order to revitalize it… and also provide affordable housing choices to low income families.
What used to be a vibrant and family-oriented neighborhood have been devastated when drugs and other businesses invaded the area. T.I., who was born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., had been arrested several times for drug charges at the age of 14.
Now that T.I. is a successful and influential rapper and actor, he wants to do something to avoid that for the future generation. He knew that it could come back eventually but he was doubtful of the possible exclusion of native Atlantans and those in the food desert. Thus, he decided to take the matters into his own hands to ensure there will be an affordable place to live.
Last year, he launched a real estate venture rightfully called Buy Back the Block. Since then, he has used his own money amounting to about $2.7 million to buy six properties and plots of land in Center Hill, one of which is Kmart where his family used to shop. He plans to revitalize the neighborhood where he grew up in a way that would allow people to be able to afford to stay there.
“Green spaces and gardens are incredibly important. We want a movie theater, bowling, laser tag–stuff I didn’t have. I’m trying to build a community where the people within it can be proud. If they’re proud, they’ll have more of a sense of wanting to maintain it,” T.I. said in an interview with Inc..