Atlanta Land Trust (ALT) broke ground at their new development site, The Trust at East Lake. Partner organizations, community development leaders, and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens joined to celebrate this fresh approach to tackling the city’s affordable housing crisis. Working with city leaders, developers, and planners to secure and preserve affordable housing options for residents of Atlanta, the trust will create a 40-unit townhome development in the city’s East Lake community.
Reinvestment Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a growing Atlanta office, is one of the partnering organizations helping bring the project to life. In partnership with Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partners (ANDP), Reinvestment Fund will deploy a $3.6 million revolving construction loan.
Reinvestment Fund invests capital in projects that are both targeted and transformative. As a part of their CDFI model, the organization supports mission-driven organizations and entrepreneurs with big ideas who face barriers to accessing capital from traditional lenders. They believe that access to quality and affordable homes is critical to building sustainable, healthy communities. To support community-led affordable housing projects, Reinvestment Fund offers a broad toolkit of products and flexible solutions to actively support a variety of approaches to increasing affordable housing—from Low Income Housing Tax Credits to naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) to land trusts and other subsidies.
The Trust at East Lake manifests several commitments Reinvestment Fund pursues as their mission to build strong, healthy, and more equitable communities. Since 2018, ALT has developed over 30 homes using its permanent affordable housing land trust model. The model works by reducing displacement that can accompany gentrification and providing a framework that supports residents to attain and sustain homeownership. Following this model for the new development, homeowners will be empowered to successfully own a home and build wealth from the investment, while ALT preserves investment for future families. In addition, half of the affordable housing units will be restricted to households earning less than 80% of the area median income.
As a CDFI, Reinvestment Fund has the experience and expertise to support organizations, like ATL, that work within this market to preserve affordable homes for historically marginalized populations and communities of color. On the groundbreaking, Khaliff Davis, Managing Director of Structured Finance at Reinvestment Fund, stated, “Addressing our city’s housing affordability crisis requires fresh approaches to building and owning homes—approaches that value stability over volatility. Knowing that our investment enables attainable ownership for families in this generation and future generations through ALT’s permanent affordable housing model is truly exciting and affirms our values.”
Successful deployment of capital for affordable housing projects requires time and attention to project details. CDFIs, often referred to as “financial intermediaries,” are uniquely equipped to channel capital to areas with the most need and support projects that reflect community demand in ways traditional banks and financial institutions fall short. Moreover, with 35+ years of experience in affordable housing finance, CDFI’s like Reinvestment Fund play a critical role as reliable capital partners—even more so during a global pandemic and the resulting market turbulence.
Reinvestment Fund’s fundamental approach is to align with key community partners, like ATL, who put into action what they hear expressed by the communities they serve. On how he envisions this partnership moving forward, Davis continued, “ALT has shown a genuine interest in seeking input from those affected by their work and ensuring community representation in governance through their board so that all their decision-making is informed by what communities need most. Reinvestment Fund places a premium on the level of community building ALT aspires to and seeks to support this work into the future. Together we will continue to reimagine how community development vitalizes economic growth and opportunity for all.”
Creating long-term and meaningful steps to address inequities in the housing sector takes a village. Reinvestment Fund works with public, nonprofit and private partners to identify practical interventions and investment approaches to improve the quality of local residential real estate markets and, in turn, strengthen communities. You can learn more about Reinvestment Fund’s work in Atlanta here.
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