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By Sean Keenan

On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms penned her signature on legislation that green-lights $50 million in bond funding aimed at producing and preserving affordable housing across the city. 

“By signing this legislation, we are taking yet another huge step toward achieving the reality of affordable housing for everyone who calls or wishes to call Atlanta home,” Bottoms said in a video shared on Twitter. 

The legislation, which was spawned by an executive order from the mayor’s office, earned the Atlanta City Council’s approval on Jan. 5, after different versions of the proposal plodded through council committees for more than a year. It paves the way for the deployment of $100 million in new housing opportunity bond funding.

It’s unclear how long it will take to issue all these bonds, although Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland, who architected previous iterations of the bond package proposal, told SaportaReport that the newly passed program is expected to produce and preserve roughly 3,500 affordable residences citywide. 

Most of those units, according to city documents, are expected to be priced as affordable for households making between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). That’s an estimated 1,631 units created and 808 preserved. 

About 260 of the to-be-constructed units and 670 units slated for rehabilitation are projected to be priced for households making less than 50 percent of the AMI. That’s the price point that housing affordability advocacy group HouseATL has said is most needed in fast-gentrifying Atlanta. 

The bond program is also expected to create 35 and preserve 57 units that would be priced as affordable for families earning more than 80 percent of the AMI. 

About a third of the $100 million funding mechanism — $33 million — is earmarked for multifamily development, meaning developers will be able to apply for financing to build and protect existing affordable apartments. 

A little over $30 million is slated to provide loans for single-family developers, and $22 million is expected to support the renovation of owner-occupied houses. 

The rest of the funding, not counting administrative fees, would be set aside to help people make down payments on homes, help the city buy and assemble property, and help nonprofits build and renovate affordable properties.

(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: Atlanta City Hall)

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2 Comments

  1. Stee Wiliams January 15, 2021 10:19 pm

    The issue his with developers. Tax incentives need to advantage the public/residents and not the developers.In fact the State, County and City need to stop giving away our money.

    It has gotten so bad the state had to cut the budget 14% before the pandemic was even an issue.🤔Report

    Reply
  2. Mark January 16, 2021 10:16 am

    Most of us agree that affordable housing is a challenge in Atlanta, and some of the surrounding cities. Perhaps the author of this article could explain how city bonds are issued and who/how they are paid for. Articles like this leave out this very important part, and make it seem like the funding is just coming from somewhere unknown, which is a big disservice to your readers. Please, a little more detail! Thanks!Report

    Reply

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