I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Rose Scott and Jim Burress on WABE’s Closer Look to discuss the issue of affordable housing in Atlanta. (You can listen to the interview in its entirety here.)
We began by talking about 161 Peachtree Center, which, thanks to a $9 million Eastside TAD grant, will create 60 new affordable workforce units in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. But our conversation went beyond this project to how Invest Atlanta and the City Atlanta, under the leadership of Mayor Reed, are working to make Atlanta a place for everyone to call home.
We spoke about several key topics such as the $140 million in new funding that we will use into the coming years to support the creation of affordable housing. We also touched on the City’s affordable housing policy introduced in 2016 that requires a set percentage of residential real estate units from any development receiving public funds to be leased to working households whose income falls below a certain percentage of the area median income (AMI).
Atlanta’s population is expected to grow from half a million today to an estimated 1.3 million by 2050, putting pressure on our city’s housing supply, especially in areas near major employment centers. It’s more important than ever for all of us who can continue to shape the future of Atlanta to think about new ways we can create a variety of housing opportunities. The steps we’re taking now are crucial for the years to come.
With new funds and policies in place, we’ll move forward with our partners at the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA), the City of Atlanta, and the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. to create a broad mix of housing choices in the city allowing us to reach our goal of 10,000 units by 2020. And in the process, we’ll reduce the number of city residents who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.
Our city’s future economic strength relies on us working to make Atlanta both globally competitive and more prosperous for all Atlantans. Together, we can make it happen.