Atlanta BeltLine Affordable Housing Update

55 Milton under construction by Prestwick Development Company.
55 Milton under construction by Prestwick Development Company. The Southside Interim Trail can be seen in the foreground to the right.

Over the past several months, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has been steadily pushing towards its goal of providing greater affordability and housing opportunities for families, particularly along the southside corridor where construction is already underway on the western-most segment. At the nexus of Milton Avenue and the Atlanta BeltLine southside corridor, four pending housing developments could potentially bring more than 600 units of affordable housing for families to the Peoplestown neighborhood and the surrounding communities.

In July 2020, Prestwick Development Company closed on The Milton, which will provide 156 affordable units in the Peoplestown neighborhood at 55 Milton Avenue. The units will target individuals and families earning between 50-80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Click here for an overview of AMI and what it means. ABI contributed $2 million to the project from the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the maximum amount permitted. Located steps from the Southside Trail, The Milton will provide housing opportunities and connectivity via the Atlanta BeltLine to the Schools at Carver and D. H. Stanton Park. It will also be convenient to MARTA’s future Bus Rapid Transit line through Summerhill to Downtown.

Just south of The Milton, at 1265 Lakewood Avenue, ABI is committing $1.5 million of the BeltLine TAD Increment to fund the development of 160 affordable units. With affordability ranging from 50% to 70% of AMI, Prestwick Development Company anticipates closing on this parcel in early 2021.

Building on the existing Stanton Oaks Apartments, Woda Cooper and Parallel Housing will construct Stanton Park with 56 units and affordability ranging from 30% to 80% of AMI at 1044 Hank Aaron Drive. The developer is expected to close on this transaction by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

Adjacent to The Milton, at 1090 Hank Aaron Drive, East Medinah Village, phase 1, is expected to add 255 affordable units for families earning 50% to 80% of AMI from developer Exact Capital Group, LLC. A closing date is also expected this year or early 2021.

Currently, ABI and partners have 907 affordable units in the pipeline for creation around the corridor, including in locations where the corridor is still in design.

With more than a half billion dollars of development anticipated south of I-20 and in adjacent BeltLine communities, ABI has a renewed and intense focus on land acquisition, in addition to providing funding to developers for affordable housing. The land acquisition strategy offers tremendous opportunity for scaling concentrated job creation centers, workforce development, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development along the corridor. The intersection of these goals is one of the key tools ABI will use to tackle overall affordability. An example of this is the purchase and subsequent sale or lease of land at Murphy Crossing, which will guide innovative, intentional equitable development while generating self-sustaining sources of funding for the project.

While a proven catalyst for equitable redevelopment, ABI acknowledges the benefits and changes the Atlanta BeltLine can bring to communities. The Atlanta BeltLine is committed to serving as a positive force with affordable housing for new and legacy residents in BeltLine neighborhoods undergoing change. We are working to create or preserve options that ensure families pay no more than 30% of their annual income for housing. A number of tools, workshops, and resources are available on www.beltline.org/housing and www.beltline.org/empower for owners and renters.

Atlanta City Council and the City of Atlanta announced renewed housing efforts this month. The Atlanta City Council approved legislation on November to prohibit commercial harassment by investors seeking to intimidate and pressure Atlanta homeowners into selling their properties for prices far below the estimated fair market value (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1668). Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Administrative Order to develop an agreement with Invest Atlanta to partner with the City to implement a city-wide Anti-Displacement Program for legacy residents in Atlanta. The Anti-Displacement Program would authorize the use of the first installment of the Gulch Housing Trust Fund in the amount of $4.6 million dollars to help offset rising property taxes for Atlanta residents.

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