An almost surefire way to start an argument in Atlanta is to utter the “G-word” – as in “gentrification.” In the midst of a torrid development boom, the inflow of affluent newcomers to Atlanta – and the involuntary uprooting of low-income residents that inevitably follows – reveals the racial and economic fault lines running through city’s social bedrock.
When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came to Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2015 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it turned to Renee Glover, Egbert Perry and Shirley Franklin to highlight its successes in Atlanta.
Former U.S. HUD Secretary Julian Castro was so impressed by what he saw in Atlanta during the 50th anniversary visit, that he complimented Glover, Perry and Franklin for all their “trail-blazing work” in transforming communities.
Yet another report on the high cost of housing in metro Atlanta, this one released Wednesday, shows that a person earning minimum wage would have to work 87 hours a week to afford the rent on a one bedroom apartment.
By Guest Columnist MIKE DOBBINS, professor of the practice of planning at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and a former commissioner of planning and community development for the City of Atlanta
Against the backdrop of an antagonistic and often toxic campaign season, two opportunities are emerging that could begin to lift Atlanta out of its wealth gap, the city’s own divisive and persistent stain.
Atlanta has purchased an apartment building and plans to rent units at reduced prices to workers who earn less than the median income, according to Mayor Kasim Reed’s office and legislation approved by the Atlanta City Council.
Metro Atlanta could be the poster child for housing policies that, intentionally or not, have concentrated lower income households in non-white neighborhoods that aren’t pleasant places. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Obama administration intend to change the way policies are implemented, and the policies themselves.
The reason behind the construction boom of rental apartments in metro Atlanta is evident in the numbers – rent rates were up by a record-setting, year-over-year 7.8 percent, and investors are earning returns of up to 7.75 percent, according to data in a recent report from CBRE Research.
Piece by Piece, a regional initiative to address metro Atlanta’s foreclosure crisis, received a national award Thursday for its comprehensive approach that brings together 155 public and private partners.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 predicts the construction cycle will expand in the upcoming 12 months. A similarly rosy outlook on development also is evident in a report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve.
Two sectors of the economy of special importance in metro Atlanta present a mixed bag of indicators in the Federal Reserve’s latest “beige book.” The picture becomes even murkier once the state’s unemployment rate is counted.
Nearly six years after the official end of the Great Recession, a lot of work remains to be done in metro Atlanta to help families recover what for many is their greatest source of wealth – home values.
West End may be an ideal candidate for redevelopment in this unusual era of the economy.
The newly released study of West End by Georgia Tech students sees opportunities in situations that would have been clear threats to redevelopment before the great recession. The report suggests that West End is ripe for new investments in retail and residential.
These ventures could both stabilize and benefit from the redevelopment of a stretch of Northside Drive, an historic industrial corridor that begins at the tip of Buckhead, passes Atlantic Station and the future Falcons stadium, and ends in the vicinity of West End and Fort McPherson.