Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta convenes elected officials and nonprofits to discuss affordable housing in ‘Housing Our Region’ event
By Sidney Wise, philanthropic associate, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
“The affordable housing issue is not my fault, but it’s my problem.”
Those poignant words from Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens during yesterday’s Housing Our Region event, hosted by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and WABE FM 90.1 sum up the reality and the magnitude of the affordable housing crisis in the metro Atlanta region.
In February 2022, the Federal Reserve labeled metro Atlanta’s housing market unaffordable, due in large part to soaring rental demand caused by a shortage of available housing, sky-high for-sale prices and competition from institutional investors. In fact, an estimated 30-40% of available homes in the metro Atlanta region are owned by investors. In 2021 alone, a whopping 25% of homes purchased in Atlanta were bought by investors, a higher percentage than in any other metro area.
Every year, Atlanta loses 1,500 affordable homes to the market. This lack of affordable housing is a problem that affects the long-term economic vitality of our region. It impacts every issue, from economic mobility to job security to education to health care and more. Access to affordable housing is the foundation upon which success in every other area of life is built. When one’s housing situation is unstable, so, too, is every other aspect of their life. So, too, is every corner of their community.
As Atlantans, the affordable housing issue is our problem, and it is incumbent upon us all to find solutions. But where do we start? How can municipalities, nonprofits and philanthropy work together to find viable, lasting solutions for our region?
Community Foundation president and CEO Frank Fernandez, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Lawrenceville Mayor David Still, Focused Communities Strategies’ president Jim Wehner, and Gwinnett Housing Corporation’s executive director Lejla Prljaca discussed the opportunities for municipalities, nonprofits and communities to tackle affordable housing, and the critical role that philanthropy should play. Watch the full discussion here.