Atlanta officials plan for affordable housing in new Beltline budget

by Rincey Abraham

 

City officials and Invest Atlanta board members met recently to address the issues of affordable housing along the Beltline, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The members presented the idea of raising $7.5 million to encourage affordable housing developments alongside all the trails and greenspace.

Housing costs around the eastside trail have been growing as demand to live near the trail increases. Developers have been building a number of multifamily buildings in the area to respond to the demand. However, only 560 units of affordable housing have been created in the area. The hope is to increase that number to 5,600 across the entire trail by 2030.

The Atlanta Beltline organization – an arm of Invest Atlanta – hope to float $50 million in new bonds with 15 percent set aside to encourage developers to include more affordable housing with builders’ tax credits.

“The pace with which that affordability is declining is much faster than anything else happening in our economy,” said Atlanta Beltline President and CEO Paul Morris at the meeting, according to Creative Loafing.

Additionally, the organization is hoping that the $7.5 million would make affordable housing a long-term priority in future Beltline-adjacent neighborhoods.

At the meeting, Emma Darnell, the Fulton County commissioner and who also sits on the Invest Atlanta board, expressed her own concerns about the lack of affordability. She said she is hearing from working families that are finding it difficult to stay in their current homes or move into the neighborhoods around the Beltline.

“We’re kind of at an inflection point where we feel very strongly that the need to open the opportunity for protecting affordability and to expand affordability demands over-investment, to put it quite candidly,” Darnell said.