Atlanta mayor announces fund to stop Beltline gentrification

by Rincey Abraham

 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced a new fund to help residents in the Beltline pay their rising tax bills as home prices increase in the area.

The City of Atlanta is partnering with The Westside Future Fund to create the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program. It is a grant that will help offset the costs of higher taxes for qualified homeowners in the English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights and Atlanta University neighborhoods.

Home prices in the Beltline have been increasing rapidly with some homes doubling in price in two years. With the Westside Trail set to complete by July 31, expansion and new developments along the area is expected, which will continue to increase property values.

At the first 2017 Atlanta BeltLine Inc. quarterly briefing, Chief Executive Officer Paul Morris discussed livability and affordability within the Beltline as development continues.

“We are hitting gentrification head on,” Morris said according to Atlanta Loop. “We do not want to see residents priced out of their homes.”

The program depends on philanthropic donations, which currently comes from a number of foundations and corporations in the city, and will continue as long as it is possible. Individuals will not be required to pay back any funds received through the grant.

“The Department of Planning and Community Development is committed to achieving sustainable growth in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods,” Commissioner Tim Keane said in a press release. “As part of that sustainable growth, we must have programs and policies in place to ensure affordable housing and offer housing incentives and resources to our residents who need them the most. We hope that the Anti-Displacement Tax Program is one of many initiatives to come.”

Homeowners can apply now through March 15, 2018 and pay outs will start in the 2018 tax year.