The Atlanta BeltLine would be almost halfway to its goal of creating 5,600 affordable homes if it could count all the affordable homes that were subsidized by a government and built within a mile-wide corridor centered on the BeltLine, the BeltLine’s interim CEO told members of an Atlanta City Council committee Tuesday.
About halfway to its 2030 deadline, the BeltLine has just published a road map meant to help catch the agency up to its promise to build housing that’s affordable for working folks. The agency’s leader says they’ll need help getting there.
The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved plans on Monday for the Echo Street Communities development in English Avenue, one of the first large-scale developments in the area that has triggered strong alarm among many residents concerned about gentrification on the Westside. The affordable housing plans for the project, which also includes thousands of square feet in office space and retail, match the city’s guidelines, with 35 potential additional affordable units in the works.
A new, $20 million initiative that’s to provide 100 affordable homes – and improve the quality of life – in South DeKalb County could become a model for supporting distressed suburban neighborhoods, which have emerged as the epicenter of poverty since the Great Recession.
Once they were finished, the citizen planners who on Saturday offered their ideas about how to promote housing development in Atlanta relied heavily on many of the same tools used around the nation for more than 30 years – government incentives to entice the free market to meet a public need for housing at all prices.
Cities across the country join metro Atlanta in facing shortages of affordable housing that stem, in part, from a surge in the proportion of rental homes that are built and priced for wealthy folks who want to rent, not own, a home, according to a recent report from a think tank at Harvard University.
The shortage of affordable homes in metro Atlanta is function of the shortage of homes in all price ranges. The lack of housing units of all types is driving up the prices of the units that do exist, a real estate analyst said Wednesday at the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum.
Atlanta’s latest effort to create affordable housing is underway in Carey Park, a Northwest neighborhood the city plans to rezone to a classification intended to promote development of houses for those with low to moderate incomes.
Atlanta’s a growing city, the crown jewel of the nation, declared Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a major speech on Wednesday. But she said it’s going to to need to draw on a spirit of inclusiveness and cooperation to help residents, communities and businesses that are being left behind.
By Guest Columnist KATHLEEN FARRELL, head of commercial real estate at SunTrust Banks, Inc.
Over the last decade, as millennials entered the workforce and delayed or indefinitely avoided buying a home, apartment complexes sprang up across Atlanta – as they did in many U.S. cities – to meet the growing demand for rental housing. Many of these new developments were built as luxury living experiences in order to command higher rents and meet the expectations of a younger clientele. The result was a robust supply of high-end units that have been absorbed by Atlanta’s strong job market, but a dearth of affordable, workforce housing.
A big yellow excavator at Spencer and Walnut streets in Vine City was still on Friday morning — but just for a while, so folks could enjoy a ceremony to mark the groundbreaking for an apartment being built there so that seniors can afford it.
Atlanta plans to rebuild 19 acres at the Civic Center as a mixed-use, mixed income-development. Some folks who came to a city meeting about it are saying they’re looking for walkability, connections to the rest of the city, and preserving the buildings that are on the site.