In January of 2017, we brought you the story of construction of a new affordable development in the Capitol View neighborhood. Now, we’ve completed what is just one chapter in the story of affordability on the Atlanta BeltLine. On Monday, September 10, the ribbon was cut on Gateway Capitol View Senior Residences, a 162-unit, transit-adjacent, affordable living community for people over 55.
The development was led by Prestwick Companies and was made possible by a tax-exempt bond from Invest Atlanta. The brand-new development also features a community room with a fully equipped prep kitchen, fitness center, business center with computer stations, furnished library, interior gathering areas, on site laundry rooms, and community gardens.
The units contribute to the total of 1,600 affordable units in the Atlanta BeltLine’s Tax Allocation District (TAD). As part of Atlanta BeltLine development, 5,600 affordable units are expected to be created or preserved in the TAD by 2,300. Though the 2008 recession severely impact funding sources for these units, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is still committed to reaching this goal.
The whole story
Atlanta BeltLine’s founding legislation specifies that 5,600 affordable units are built within the TAD, and that no TAD funding may be spent outside of the district’s limits. However, this is only part of the story of affordability that is unfolding around the Atlanta BeltLine. Outside the boundaries of the TAD, 1,042 affordable units have been created or preserved within 1/2 mile of the Atlanta BeltLine corridor. When added to the units within the TAD, this brings the total of affordable units near the BeltLine to 2,642.
One such example of a development outside the TAD is Capitol View apartments (not to be confused with Gateway Capitol View, mentioned above.) These low-income housing units are located right at the foot of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail at University Avenue. The development was purchased by Columbia Residential, and will be improved and renovated while still retaining affordability for residents. Capitol View apartment residents will reap the benefits of being on a developing transit corridor with access to parks, schools, and grocery stores, while keeping housing costs affordable.
More to do
Funding for affordable units comes from a variety of sources, including the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund (BAHTF), Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and may also be supported by tax credits and incentives for the developers. Many more units are still needed before we can meet the critical need for affordability in the city, and this is why a cohesive, collaborative citywide effort is so important.
The Atlanta BeltLine can impact affordability citywide in more ways than one. In addition to supporting the creation or preservation of housing where TAD dollars are legally able to be spent, transit development on the Atlanta BeltLine encourages density which likewise encourages affordability. (Read this CityLab article on how density mitigates displacement for more information.) Easy access to mobility also provides commuting options, putting more jobs at the hands of people that need them and cutting costs for vehicle and travel expenses. This kind of thoughtful development paired with measures that ensure existing residents can stay in place will improve quality-of-life for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
The Atlanta BeltLine’s role in creating and maintaining affordability is not a solo endeavor; however, ABI is strides in its own affordable housing program. In August of this year, ABI’s Affordable Housing Working Group released its Final Report, a guide for creating and preserving affordable housing around the Atlanta BeltLine. You can read the full report here. To make a wider impact on affordability in the city, ABI must rely on strong alliances with strategic partners both within the TAD and the broader Planning Area.
What other affordable housing is there around the Atlanta BeltLine?
You can find a comprehensive list of affordable housing units around the Atlanta BeltLine in Appendix B of the above-referenced report. See below for a little more detailed reading on a few of these developments: