How HouseATL Aims to Help Shape Atlanta’s Housing Future
From the diminishing supply of affordable units, to funding mechanisms for development and preservation, to issues of gentrification and displacement – housing affordability continues to be a central issue to achieving equity in metro Atlanta. At our last housing forum, we learned about taskforce efforts throughout the region – with a specific focus on Brookhaven, Lithonia, and Smyrna. At our next forum, we will discuss the work of HouseATL – a new, coordinated effort underway to identify and measure barriers to affordability and craft recommendations to address the city’s housing issues.
HouseATL is a housing taskforce that began in January 2018. The group has committed to using a cross-sector, collaborative process to lay the groundwork for solutions – as well as serve as a replicable model in the region and beyond.
Since its launch in January 2018, HouseATL has: developed a clear consensus on the specific problems they aim to solve; defined the dimensions of the city’s housing affordability problems; and conducted an audit of all recommendations and platforms that are specifically focused on Atlanta to identify common themes and leverage existing work.
After their initial groundwork, five working groups were formed: community retention, existing affordable housing preservation, housing for those earning less than 50 percent of area median income, public resources for production, and new private investment.
A central theme in the work of HouseATL is that of shared responsibility – from private and public sectors, as well as nonprofit and philanthropic communities. The taskforce engages 100 entities and is staffed by ULI Atlanta with support from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Center for Civic Innovation, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Central Atlanta Progress.
Throughout the summer, the taskforce and its working groups have been crafting recommendations with a specific eye toward: what a shared investment strategy could look like and how a housing strategy can best coordinate with transportation investments. HouseATL will unveil their list of recommendations and seek feedback at our September Housing Forum.
How does this taskforce differ from other efforts? How does a “collective impact” process make for better results? How will their recommendations be received? Can this approach help achieve greater equitable growth in the City? What can we learn in this process that might help other cities address their challenges?