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Atlanta Civic Circle Housing Affordability

With new tool, Atlanta officials aim to “demystify” affordable housing resources

By Sean Keenan

The City of Atlanta this week unveiled a guide that could help residents navigate its housing affordability crisis.

On Tuesday, officials debuted Affordable Housing ATL: A Resource Guide for Residents, a brief catalog that educates people on housing terms and rights, points people toward housing-related services and highlights public agencies and nonprofit organizations that can also help.

“The city recognizes that the process of finding affordable housing can be daunting,” a city press release says. “As the population and economy of Atlanta have grown, housing prices and rents have also risen, creating challenges for many residents. In this context, there was a clear need to demystify the types of housing and services available, who qualifies for them, and how to access them.”

Though seemingly simple, understanding what exactly constitutes “affordability” is easier said than done. The city’s guide breaks down how to calculate where a household fits relative to the area median income (AMI) and how much they can afford in rent a home for.

For example, the AMI for a four-person household in metro Atlanta is $82,700, and a household making 100 percent of the AMI should be able to afford a three- or four-bedroom residence for around $2,151 and $2,400, respectively.

The guide also provides homebuyer assistance, contact info for legal groups that help with housing matters, information about specialized types of affordable — for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and others — and options for people experiencing homelessness.

The news of the tool’s debut comes on the heels of the city’s authorization of $50 million in bond funding for affordable housing creation and preservation.

(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: Atlanta City Hall)

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