Shavetta Simmons loved the house in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where she lived much of the past two years, but couldn’t afford the $2,000 monthly rent anymore, with utilities piling up. She moved out, stayed with family for several months, and finally took refuge in a single room extended-stay hotel in an Atlanta suburb.
Simmons is one of a growing number of residents priced out of the red-hot housing market in Metro Atlanta. The city has one of the largest concentration of discount extended-stay accommodations in the US - hotels initially designed for traveling workers needing temporary lodging, but are increasingly being used as permanent housing for low-income workers. In a sign that more families are forced to cram into one-bedroom units for long periods: local school districts include stops at the hotels in their bus routes.