Amidst CEO shakeup, Atlanta Beltline provides affordable housing update



Last week the Atlanta Beltline named Clyde Higgs as the interim CEO after the departure of Brian McGowan. McGowan announced that he would be leaving for Seattle to become the CEO at Greater Seattle Partners.

With the recent departure, some showed concern over the focus on affordable housing that McGowan consistently pushed toward. Most recently, McGowan wanted to double down on the original goal of 5,600 affordable homes along the multi-use trail and reach for 10,000. However, Higgs has been serving as the Beltline’s COO since 2015

“As an essential part of the ABI leadership team, Clyde has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to ensuring the Beltline remains true to its mission and vision,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “The Beltline is physically connecting Atlanta’s many diverse communities and neighborhoods, and it is important to have a leader in place who understands the significance of accomplishing this goal.”

The Beltline also released its Affordable Housing Working Group report, which highlighted the progress made by the project and ambitions moving forward.

According to the report, the Beltline is “committed to creating and preserving a minimum of 5,600 affordable housing units within the [Tax Allocation District].” There are currently 1,600 homes within the area that fall within the affordable housing guideline.

However, the report details that in order to reach the minimum goal of 5,600 affordable homes by 2030, there would need to be an annual average unit production/preservation of 250 affordable units annually for the next two fiscal years, 320 affordable units annually for the next four years and 380 affordable units annually during the following four years.

Additionally, “developers of affordable housing must charge restricted rents in order to keep the units affordable even when the costs to acquire parcels of land and construction costs to build are rising and are not similarly capped.” This means that higher subsidies are required than originally planned.

Read the full report here.

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