IA Moves Forward With Innovative Housing Affordability Strategies

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Invest Atlanta Board of Directors approved two resolutions to provide new opportunities for long-term affordability in the Westside neighborhoods of English Avenue and Vine City. These initiatives will offer new affordable living options for both renters and potential homeowners.

“We recognize that we have to have a solution for all the residents living in this community,” said Dawn Luke, senior VP of community development for Invest Atlanta.

The board’s first action approved the selection of four developers to award the sale or ground lease of 24 vacant single-family home lots. These properties, all of which are located within the Westside TAD, will be redeveloped and marketed to residents earning between $39,000 – $58,000 annually.

The homes will remain affordable through a community land trust model in which the trust acquires and maintains the land, while the homeowner finances and owns the improvements. When the homeowner sells, the family earns a portion of the increased property value. The remainder is kept by the trust, preserving the affordability for future low to moderate-income families. By separating the ownership of land and the home, this innovative approach lowers the property tax burden for the homeowners and guarantees that the housing will remain affordable for future generations.

The second board item focused on maintaining long-term affordability for Westside renters through the redevelopment of an existing multi-family property on English Avenue. The board authorized the staff to negotiate the terms of a long-term ground lease to allow the Westside Future Fund (WFF) to renovate 6 units for residents earning no more than 50% AMI. To ensure affordability in perpetuity, Invest Atlanta will retain ownership of the land and sell the building to WFF.

This project supports the goals of the Invest Atlanta’s Westside TAD Neighborhood Strategic Implementation Plan and the Community Retention Strategy currently being finalized by the Westside Future Fund. Renovations are scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2018.