Atlanta BeltLine Exceeds Affordable Housing Goal for 2023
Wednesday, January 31st, 2024
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has exceeded its 2023 goal for new affordable housing units within the BeltLine Tax Allocation District (TAD), keeping it on track to meet or surpass its total affordable housing goal of 5,600 units by 2030. In 2023, 407 affordable homes were created in the TAD, topping the year’s goal by 31 percent, bringing the total number of affordable units to 3,555 to date. ABI also has nearly 500 additional new affordable units in its 2024 pipeline and continues to advance its land acquisition investments and site planning efforts designed to create and preserve affordability along the corridor.
Propelled by City of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dicken’s ambitious goals around affordable housing citywide, and backed by partners Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the Development Authority of Fulton County, ABI has made unprecedented strides in providing and guiding equitable housing options for all residents in all quadrants of the City.
“The BeltLine remains intentionally focused on providing affordable housing for residents earning less than 80% AMI and identifying new ways to deliver affordable housing more equitably,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Clyde Higgs. “2023 was marked by continued investment in a more diverse range of affordable housing options, including permanently affordable housing options, and 2024 will bring another robust pipeline of additional deals and acquisitions that further our plans to secure equitable development across the BeltLine TAD.”
Affordable housing created/preserved in the BeltLine TAD for 2023 included:
Closing on $1.17 million from BeltLine TAD increment to support the Atlanta Land Trust and its partner Intown Builders, LLC. in the development of new townhomes in the Avenue at Oakland City. The project includes two-and three-bedroom townhomes, 13 of which are offered to buyers earning up to 80 percent AMI and 16 at 100 percent AMI, for a total of 29 permanently affordable units.
Investing more than $550,000 from the BeltLine TAD increment in the Ralph David House, an adaptive-reuse development converting a motel at 277 Moreland Avenue into 54 apartments in the Reynoldstown community – the first time Atlanta BeltLine has invested in a project with 100% of the units serving individuals who formerly experienced homelessness. Apartments in Ralph David House will be reserved for those earning 30 percent of Area Media Income (AMI) or less and offer supportive services.
Investing $1.48 million from BeltLine TAD increment in The Trust at Oakland City, a 42-unit development on 3.5 acres at 1024 Donnelly Avenue. The site is roughly 100 yards from the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail near the Lee + White food and drink district. Half of the 42 for-sale homes will be offered at affordable rates. These homes will be permanently affordable.
Leasing by RangeWater Real Estate in the multifamily development The Vivian at 1246 Allene Avenue in Capital View along the Southside Trail corridor, which brought 49 units of affordable housing online for residents earning 80 percent of AMI and is funded with bonds from the Development Authority of Fulton County.
Closing on GE Tower Apartments, funded with tax-exempt bonds from Invest Atlanta, which will provide 201 homes for those earning 60 percent of AMI.
The balance of units is attributed to the City of Atlanta’s Inclusionary Zoning ordinance, established in 2018 by then-City Councilmember Andre Dickens.
Strategic Land Acquisition and Activation
Further strengthening its mission to ensure affordable housing, ABI has acquired nearly 90 acres of land as part of its land acquisition strategy, including 20 acres in 2023. Those acres are now preserved for residential and commercial affordability.
“Our land acquisition strategy continues to expand as we look to secure available land that we can purchase with the intent to guide development to include affordable housing and commercial space,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Vice President of Housing Policy and Development Dennis Richards. “This pivotal strategy is ensuring that affordability and equitable development will be deeply rooted throughout the BeltLine TAD.”
Land deals announced in 2023 include the acquisition of 13.7 acres at 356 University Avenue adjacent to Pittsburgh Yards, a transformative adaptive-reuse development fueling economic equity and job growth for communities on the BeltLine’s Southside Trail. ABI will begin a community engagement and planning process to determine best uses for the site and to continue area momentum for intentional development on the city’s southside that creates jobs and business opportunities for local residents and businesses.
ABI also acquired a 6.3-acre site at 350 Chappell Road in the city’s historic Grove Park and Westin Heights neighborhoods. This acquisition will lead to the development of over 200 affordable workforce housing units near the future Westside Trail – Segment 4 and near Atlanta BeltLine’s 31+ acre site at 425 Chappell Road, NW.
In 2023, ABI also advanced efforts on an affordable mixed-use development at 425 Garson Drive in Buckhead/Lindbergh. Affordable housing developers Pennrose, LLC. and Radiant Development Partners, LLC were selected as the developer finalists for the project, which will focus on permanently affordable housing and affordable commercial space near the Lindbergh MARTA station and along the future Northeast Trail.
Resources for Residents
As part of its commitment to help legacy residents living in Westside and Southside neighborhoods remain in their homes and build wealth, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) expanded its Legacy Resident Retention Program(LRRP) in 2023 to 221 homeowners, a 128% increase over last year. This initiative helps ensure long-time residents can stay in their communities, amidst neighborhood growth and change, by covering property tax increases through 2030. It also allows homeowners to build generational wealth as property values rise. The program is projected to pay more than $3.3 million in property taxes through 2030 for the current participants.
To help mitigate displacement, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Home Empowerment Workshops provided more than 260 participants last year with assistance in filing homestead exemptions, appealing property tax assessments, financial planning, and budgeting and banking.
“Through donor-supported programs like the LRRP and Home Empowerment Workshops, long-time residents are able to remain in their communities, enjoy the Atlanta BeltLine’s benefits, and thrive,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner.
ABI also launched a new tool for finding affordable rental homes in neighborhoods around the 22-mile loop. The affordable housing dashboard also tracks ABI’s progress towards its goal of creating or preserving 5,600 affordable homes by the end of 2030.
To help residents and stakeholders learn more about Atlanta BeltLine’s affordable housing efforts, two new videos have been added to the BeltLine Explained video series: Affordable Housing and Area Median Income.