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.
Atlanta’s creating more luxury apartments than low-cost ones, which is part of why many people worry that the age of an affordable Atlanta is coming to an end. But what might be a big part of an affordable housing fix is hidden in plain sight.
A proposal now making the rounds of Atlanta’s neighborhood planning units says Atlanta has a growing number of people in homeless families and the city should make it easier to expand existing facilities – provided operators get a special use permit from the city.
The Atlanta Housing Authority did not call a special board meeting by Wednesday evening to vote on a plan to refinance the debt on the Villages of East Lake – a date needed for the project to receive $5 million in federal funds.
The Cousins Foundation sent a pointed letter to AHA’s board and executives following their Feb. 28th board meeting, when they did not put the East Lake financing on the agenda.
You know a disruptor is in town when Gov. Nathan Deal and the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s top leader cut the ribbon on an office leasing location that charges tenants as little as $250 a month. And so it was Monday morning, as WeWork opened the second Midtown location of a company backed by a recent $4.4 billion investment from a Tokyo-based tech and telecom firm.
An almost surefire way to start an argument in Atlanta is to utter the “G-word” – as in “gentrification.” In the midst of a torrid development boom, the inflow of affluent newcomers to Atlanta – and the involuntary uprooting of low-income residents that inevitably follows – reveals the racial and economic fault lines running through city’s social bedrock.
When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came to Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2015 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it turned to Renee Glover, Egbert Perry and Shirley Franklin to highlight its successes in Atlanta.
Former U.S. HUD Secretary Julian Castro was so impressed by what he saw in Atlanta during the 50th anniversary visit, that he complimented Glover, Perry and Franklin for all their “trail-blazing work” in transforming communities.
Yet another report on the high cost of housing in metro Atlanta, this one released Wednesday, shows that a person earning minimum wage would have to work 87 hours a week to afford the rent on a one bedroom apartment.