Fund to develop up to 1,500 affordable housing units now holds $5 millionThe Jackson Street Bridge at night. (Credit: Kemet Alston)
By Sean Keenan
An effort to inject $25 million of affordable housing units into Atlanta is a quarter of the way toward success.
On Friday, representatives of the newly established Atlanta Affordable Housing Fund (AAHF) announced “high-net-worth individuals, foundations and corporations” had put $5.1 million in the pot, which is ultimately expected to fuel the development of up to 1,500 affordable homes.
Spearheaded by local real estate pros like Marc Pollack, David Allman and Egbert Perry, the money raised is expected to be funneled to developers and sponsors who are creating or preserving affordable housing, and the initial closing “signals that the fund is ready to begin investing in affordable housing projects in Atlanta,” according to a press release.
The fund is focused on creating “opportunities where critical financial gap financing is needed and includes projects along the continuum of housing affordability needs,” an AAHF spokesperson told SaportaReport, adding that the $25 million is expected to help between 10 and 12 projects that yield a minimum of 1,000 affordable units priced for households earning between 30 and 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation contributed some of the first cash to the fund, although officials did not immediately respond to SaportaReport’s inquiries regarding, among other things, how big the check was.
Leaders of the fund hope it will help offset the loss — or delay — of the $200 million affordable housing bond program that faltered amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The needs for affordable housing are greater than ever, as are the challenges around creating it,” said AAHF board chairman David Allman, per the release. “We want to be a conduit to help the City of Atlanta and other organizations execute their plans for affordable housing. Our fund can be the last piece of the puzzle, and help deals get done.
According to affordable housing advocacy group HouseATL, Atlanta loses 1,500 units of affordable housing each year, making this fund a crucial step toward reducing the daunting shortage.
Complicating matters, the fiscal side effects of the COVID-19 crisis promise an impending onslaught of evictions and foreclosures in metro Atlanta and beyond, meaning, experts have told SaportaReport, the need for affordable housing is sure to spike soon.
(Header image, via Kemet Alston: The Jackson Street Bridge at night)