ARC Selects Six Recipients for 2024 Community Development Assistance Program

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, May 10th, 2024

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) announced today it will provide critical planning and technical support to six metro Atlanta communities through the agency’s Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP).

The projects were chosen through a competitive process that solicited proposals from local governments, Community Improvement Districts, and nonprofits across the Atlanta region. ARC will provide a combination of staffing resources and grants to the selected communities to support a wide range of initiatives that aim to improve quality of life for residents.

Projects address one to two of the six regional challenges listed below:

  • Access to Healthy Food

  • Creative Placemaking

  • Historic Preservation

  • Housing Affordability

  • Smart Technology

  • Impacts of Climate Change

Consideration for support was also given to projects based on how well the project addresses social equity and community resiliency, and the level of community engagement proposed.

Projects Receiving ARC Staff Assistance:

Upper South River Watershed Corridor Connectivity Study
Project Sponsor: American Rivers and South River Watershed Alliance

American Rivers and South River Watershed Alliance will receive study assistance from ARC to develop an overarching vision for a comprehensive trail network that connects this south Atlanta and south DeKalb County community to nature, help conserve land, and provide a line of defense against flooding and other impacts of climate change. The study will take a parcel-by-parcel view of the corridor, looking at zoning policies, existing conditions, and property ownership. This study will also seek opportunities to promote placemaking along the corridor for those who lack adequate access to recreation.

South Fulton Housing Assessment
Project Sponsor: City of South Fulton

ARC staff will conduct a housing assessment in the City of South Fulton to understand existing housing stock conditions and identify future metrics and strategies that support the city’s vision for a vibrant and thriving community. This study will provide a technical, data-driven analysis to enable the city to better understand the challenges and opportunities related to housing. City leaders hope to find ways to plan for new families, provide accessible senior housing to encourage aging in place, and establish an appropriate mix of housing options. The assessment will ultimately equip the city for the next step of strategizing ways to make housing more accessible and affordable for all residents.

Little 5 Points CID Arts and Culture Assessment
Project Sponsor: Little 5 Points Community Improvement District

The Little 5 Points Community Improvement District (CID) will conduct an arts and culture assessment designed to balance growth while preserving the rich cultural heritage that has made Little 5 Points what it is today. ARC staff will lead a community engagement effort and conduct research on the existing artistic and cultural assets in the area. The assessment will also build on a Little 5 Points mobility study that identified placemaking and identity as key priorities for the district. The CID is working with community-based partner, the Little 5 Points Alliance, to preserve the area’s identity while promoting growth.

Project Receiving CDAP Partner Assistance

Decatur Preservation Strategies for Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing
Project Sponsor: City of Decatur
Assistance Partner: Georgia Conservancy

The city of Decatur and the Decatur Land Trust are working to increase the supply of affordable housing and provide greater socio-economic diversity. Through a partnership with Georgia Conservancy, this CDAP study will focus on naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) to identify policies and strategies that incentivize the preservation of this limited housing stock. Specifically, the study will analyze existing conditions within the city and identify potential strategies to preserve NOAH units in an economically feasible fashion. Using this information, the city plans to work with local organizations, NOAH property owners, and NOAH residents to find collaborative ways of maintaining affordable units amid market pressures and limited room for new development.

Projects Receiving ARC Grant Assistance:

Woodstock Housing Capacity and Gap Analysis
Project Sponsor: City of Woodstock
Grant Amount: $80,000

The City of Woodstock seeks to identify the gap between the housing density allowed under current zoning and development regulations and future needs to keep pace with expected population growth. The city hopes to identify potential “opportunity sites” for infill housing and foster greater income diversity so people who work in the community will be able to live there as well, reducing the need for long commutes.

Upper Westside CID Collier Road Multimodal Concept Study
Project Sponsor: Upper Westside CID
Grant Amount: $240,000

This study aims to incorporate multimodal transportation options on Collier Road, a vital east-west corridor. The stretch of Collier Road between Northside Drive and Chattahoochee Avenue  is home to a diverse array of shops, housing, and commercial and light industrial sites. But travel in the area is dangerous because of poor walking and bicycling infrastructure. Through extensive community and business outreach, the study will develop a preferred concept for multimodal connectivity along Collier Road complemented by placemaking and green infrastructure. The study will include a traffic study of key intersections, an existing conditions analysis, public outreach to determine unique amenities and design preferences, and up to two design alternatives to improve connectivity.

Learn more about these programs and the entire CDAP program at