Closing the Gap: 2,000 affordable housing units by 2025
Last year Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. (ANDP) launched an unprecedented project to develop or preserve 2,000 affordable apartment units and single-family homes by 2025. The organization’s project is part of its commitment to closing the homeownership and wealth gap, as well as addressing rental affordability in metro Atlanta. With less than a year of work toward the goal, more than 600 units have been completed or are in some stage of development.
ANDP’s Closing the Gap plan includes the development or renovation of 250 single-family rental homes, 500 single-family homes targeted for homeownership, and the creation or preservation of 1,250 multifamily apartment units throughout metro Atlanta, with priority neighborhoods most at risk of future displacement of low-income residents.
“The Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership’s (ANDP) commitment to dramatically increase its scale and impact is a strong complement to the City’s One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Thank you to ANDP for partnering with the City to meet the growing housing affordability needs of Atlanta residents.”
In addition to its focus on the City of Atlanta, ANDP deploys resources in South DeKalb and other at-risk communities in the region.
“We’ve watched as ANDP has worked diligently over the last five years to hone its systems, grow its capacity and increase its scale. This is an exciting step forward and an example of what is needed if we are going to collectively meet the affordable housing need in the City and the region,” said Sarah Kirsch, Executive Director of ULI Atlanta.
ANDP’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the ambitious plan to scale production to 2,000 homes by 2025 to meet more of the City and region’s housing need.
“Research has shown that as many as one-in-two Atlanta households and one-in-three regional households are housing cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of monthly household income for housing expenses,” said James L. Rhoden III, Managing Principal of The Macallan Group and ANDP’s Board Chair. “The need is clear, and the time for action is now. The neighborhoods and families we serve across the Metro Atlanta region have a critical need for more quality affordable homes, including opportunities for homeownership. Our innovative plan utilizes ANDP’s decades of proven experience and strong development partnerships to achieve significant scale.”
A central component of ANDP’s plan is a continued focus on homeownership. Metro Atlanta’s decline in Black homeownership reflects national trends. Black homeownership is more than 32% lower than that of Whites according to US Census data and is lower today than when the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. The decline in Black homeownership contributes more than any other issue to the growing wealth gap between Blacks and Whites, as housing is the primary asset of middle-income families. The median wealth of White households ($171,000) is ten times higher than that of Black households ($17,000).
“Homeownership is proven to increase educational achievement, healthy outcomes, and civic participation. More importantly, it is the single-largest driver of economic opportunity and generational wealth, especially in low- and moderate-income families,” said ANDP president and CEO John O’Callaghan.
In an ANDP study of its 2009-2018 homebuyers, those remaining in their homes at least five years saw an average wealth gain from homeownership of $88,797.
ANDP’s 2,000 unit plan has an estimated development price tag of $438 million. Through access to low-cost enterprise capital, competitive Federal program dollars, local and state resources, social impact investing, and other bank debt sources, 82 percent of the funds have been identified. More than $46M to be leveraged for the project are highly competitive Federal funds not otherwise accessed in Atlanta. The organization plans to initiate a philanthropic campaign to generate the balance of the funds needed.
“Every family deserves access to safe, quality, affordable housing. We know homeownership, in particular, is foundational for families. Now is the time to act. ANDP’s strength is in the dozens of risk-sharing, mission-driven partnerships we have with other nonprofits and private sector developers and contractors. It is an ambitious but achievable goal,” said O’Callaghan. “At the end of the day, it’s about what you are willing to risk to meet this incredible need.”