Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and City Councilmember Amir Farokhi are pushing to allocate $500,000 of American Rescue Plan funds to provide a housing subsidy to encourage firefighters, police officers and corrections officials to live near their workplaces or in their zones.
The community-based housing incentive, the first of its kind in Atlanta, would be administered by the Atlanta Police Foundation with help from the Atlanta Apartment Association.
“People who work in Atlanta should be able to afford to live in Atlanta,” Dickens said in a press release. “My administration has prioritized the development of affordable housing for our workforce. This investment will help our public safety personnel live in the communities they serve.”
Farokhi, who represents Atlanta’s District 2, is leading the effort in the City Council by sponsoring a resolution that funds the program, which has been under development for more than a year. Backers argue the subsidies will build community trust, strengthen public safety, address housing affordability and boost the city’s recruitment and retention efforts.
“Public safety is a top priority for the mayor and all of City Council,” Farokhi said. “We ask our police and fire to do too much with the personnel they have. We must do better at recruitment and retention. I’m excited to partner with the mayor to launch this innovative housing program.”
The resolution has been referred to the City Council’s Finance Executive Committee.