By Sean Keenan
A $25 million project by Atlanta Habitat for Humanity aims to bolster the city’s stock of for-sale affordable homes.
Conversations of affordable housing in metro Atlanta tend to revolve around the production — or, many times, the loss — of rental units. This time, though, plans call for more than 100 single-family homes a few miles south of Interstate 20.
The development is slated to span more than 30 acres near Browns Mill Road in the Orchard Knob neighborhood just south of the Browns Mill Golf Course. It’s aptly being called “Browns Mill Village.”
The one-story homes, offered in three- or four-bedroom floor plans, will be priced around $150,000, while two-story, four-bedroom homes will go for $170,000. The finished project will also feature a green space, a pavilion, community garden, recreation areas and wraparound services.
That price point comes with a few interesting caveats, though: Only first-time homebuyers are eligible to purchase, and they’ll be expected to help build their homes with the help of volunteers and community partners.
That said, Browns Mill Village homebuyers would enjoy zero-interest mortgages that include property taxes, insurance and a home maintenance fund.
HouseATL member and Urban Land Institute executive director Sarah Kirsch told Saporta Report that creating affordable for-sale homes is a critical component of fighting the city’s affordability crisis.
“Homeownership promotes wealth building — an asset that can be passed down to the next generation,” she said. “It is also critical to stemming future displacement, creating opportunities for people to own their home in a good location before getting ‘priced out.’ This is so important to individuals and families and, at a macro level, is a meaningful way to promote mixed-income communities over time.”
President and CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity added to that sentiment, telling Saporta Report that housing stability helps put families “on a trajectory toward economic mobility, self-sufficiency and building a legacy for future generations.”
Ground broke on the project last week, and construction is scheduled to begin in earnest in the fall of 2020.