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Sustainable Communities Thought Leader Uncategorized

Maximizing the Moment: Regional Action on Affordable Housing

Metro Atlanta is having a watershed moment. At no time in recent history have we seen more conversations about housing affordability than are occurring right now. Scarcity of housing stock, the predominance of low-income families that are housing-cost burdened, alarming levels of evictions, displacement and gentrification, rising rental rates, the loss of affordable units due to redevelopment and expiring subsidies, and historic low levels of homeownership – especially in communities of color – are all adding a sense of urgency to these conversations.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made a $1 billion pledge to support affordable housing needs in the City of Atlanta. ULI Atlanta is leading the public/private sector Atlanta Housing Affordability and Community Retention Task Force with an ultimate goal of creating a road map and policy recommendations that address unmet needs and prepare for the future growth. Additional efforts are underway by the City of Atlanta Housing Commission, Atlanta BeltLine Affordable Housing Task Force, Atlanta Public Schools Task Force, City for All Housing Coalition, TransFormation Alliance and more.

These important conversations are being held beyond the City limits as well, as housing initiatives in Brookhaven, Smyrna, Dunwoody, and Sandy Spring are in various stages of development. Last year Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Atlanta Regional Commission created the Atlanta Regional Housing Task Force for local municipalities to convene, share best practices, and discuss shared challenges.

These conversations become increasingly important as our region grows. Metro Atlanta job growth is outpacing the U.S. Accordingly, more and more families are moving to our metro Atlanta region. Cities from coast to coast compete heavily to attract new industry, corporate headquarters and well-paying jobs. Among the assets needed to attract new industry is a workable housing market – one that has room for growth and one that isn’t overpriced. Atlanta’s housing market, while not meeting the need for low-income households, is viewed nationally as ripe with opportunity.

How do we maximize the opportunities in these shared, regional conversations? How do we promote regional alignment where possible? How do we successfully compete for new jobs and industry – while also creating and retaining housing affordability? How do we connect more metro Atlantans to the region’s success with equitable, affordable, healthy, livable, walkable, transit-oriented communities?

Join us for the June 6 Atlanta Regional Housing Forum as we overlay these regional conversations. Our Forum will include:

  • An update from City of Atlanta on its upcoming needs assessment – and conversation about the need for increased public education, i.e. Housing 101, to promote alignment and combat NIMBYism.
  • Conversations from regional housing initiatives and how the work of the Atlanta Regional Housing Task Force is providing a space for local jurisdictions and municipalities to share best practices and solutions for common challenges.
  • A deep dive into a study conducted by ULI Atlanta and the Bleakley Group with a particular focus on how to increase affordable mid-market production, maintaining affordable inventory, lessening housing + transportation cost, and proving regional leadership on affordability.
  • A look at the Atlanta Regional Commission CATLYST vision for economic development and the role housing affordability plays in our regional competitiveness with a focus on the need for a regional housing strategy based on a data-driven, collective impact model.

We look forward to seeing you at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at St. Luke’s Church at 435 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308.  Register now


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