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Praise for Blighted

About the Book
Margaret Stagmeier’s forthright descriptions of ousting problem tenants, financing renovations, and untangling bureaucratic knots make Blighted a valuable how-to for community organizers and real estate developers looking to improve poverty-stricken neighborhoods. An uplifting, inspiring portrait of progress in action.
Blighted is a gripping tale of the transformation of a low-income apartment community from a place of decay and disorder to one of stability and safety. With insights from tenants, educators, staff, and the landlord herself, the book details the long, arduous process undertaken by the innovative Margaret Stagmeier of gaining trust and rebuilding community, disrupting criminal activity, and helping Summerdale’s renters manage the unbelievably difficult task of living in poverty. It is a book that should be read by academics, city planners and developers, and anyone interested in understanding societal barriers to accessing affordable housing.
Blighted goes beyond statistics to reveal the challenges faced by families impacted by poverty, substandard living conditions, and inadequate housing policies. On its pages Marjy Stagmeier brings to life decades of her experience in building stronger, healthier communities and points us towards a brighter future—a future in which all families can thrive. Her book describes how she affected astonishing positive change for one such community, and in so doing gave voice to the voiceless. This work should be required reading for policymakers, city leaders, school boards, and anyone seeking to make transformative change in underserved populations.
Blighted shines on the important subject of affordable housing showing how compassion and commitment can transform communities. In her engaging storytelling author Marjy Stagmeier describes how she provided leadership for change while navigating the mines and traps of Atlanta’s neglected low-income housing to become a community rebuilder. Her book is vision in tangible form, both inspiration and detailed plan. A treasure for Atlanta, a pathway forward for America.
In Blighted, Marjy Stagmeier, a successful Georgia developer, provides vision and a practical blueprint for how to invest successfully in decrepit, low-income housing. The book describes her own remarkable efforts in transforming an urban community of crime and despair into one where families could thrive, schools improve, and streets become safer for all. The book should sound a wake-up call to all those who previously thought rehabilitation of marginalized apartment communities was unachievable. Stagmeier reframes what is possible.
Blighted tells the extraordinary tale of how change was made possible in the lives of families at the Summerdale Apartments. Marjy Stagmeier saw a problem, created a plan, and had the courage to execute it. No more significant contribution has been made to reverse years of neglect and disinvestment in this blighted community. This book should inspire others to action. It offers a template for what we must do to realize the American dream for all.