Atlanta has seen a big rise in suburban poverty. Between 2000 and 2012 the rate increased by 159% in Atlanta's suburbs. But the region is not alone. For instance, in Denver the rate rose by 131% and in Portland by 98%.


Rents, even in the suburbs, are rising and many of the best rental homes in suburban Atlanta are owned by private equity firms. Many of these firms swooped into the market during the recession, buying up foreclosed homes and fixing them up for renters. These houses are typically well-maintained, but come with higher monthly rents and higher credit requirements.

These are standards many in the region are struggling to meet. It's forced some to take up long-term residence in local motels that don't check credit and others to move several generations of a family into one home.

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