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Entertainment mogul and philanthropist Tyler Perry is stepping up to support economically vulnerable communities that have been significantly impacted by the ravaging wave of gentrification in Atlanta. Perry recently pledged to donate $2.75 million to elderly homeowners throughout the city.

The soaring costs of housing have led to the displacement of senior citizens who have called neighborhoods nestled in the heart of the city home for decades. A report conducted by the Urban Displacement Project shows nearly half of Atlanta’s communities experienced a precipitous increase in housing costs within a 17-year span, and approximately 80,000 low-income households in the city are within areas at risk of—or have already experienced—gentrification. Further research revealed in the state of Georgia, nearly 54 percent of senior citizens struggle to make ends meet.

Aware of the rising real estate taxes, Perry decided to pay it forward and financially support elders to ensure legacy residents who are embedded in the fabric of Atlanta aren’t at risk of losing their homes.

Through the effort, he will pay back property taxes for 300 low-income seniors and he will cover tax increases for 100 low-income elderly residents over the next two decades. His generous gift will also cover city, county, and school taxes. Perry made an initial donation of $750,000 and has pledged to donate $500,000 annually over the next four years. He’s working alongside Invest Atlanta Partnership which is the philanthropic arm of the city’s economic development authority.

“Atlanta’s growth and prosperity should not come at the expense of our legacy residents—many of whom have been priced out of their homes in previous years,” read a statement from Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “Tyler Perry has been engaged in our ongoing conversations around legacy resident retention, and he told me he wanted to do something to support these efforts. Thanks to his generosity, more Atlantans will be able to remain in the communities they built.”

This isn’t the first time Perry has extended support for Atlanta’s senior citizens. During the height of the pandemic, he purchased groceries for the elderly and other high-risk shoppers in the city.

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