Credit: File photo
Atlanta City Council resolution could increase housing options for low income residents
LISTEN: The Atlanta City Council is considering a resolution that would increase the number of residential developments accepting public housing vouchers. GPB’s Amanda Andrews reports.
Atlanta City Council is reviewing a resolution that would increase the number of new and existing developments accepting housing choice vouchers.
Before the resolution goes into effect it will be considered by the city’s housing and finance committees before a final vote from the city council next week. The plan asks developers using public money from the city or state to register with Atlanta housing and accept housing vouchers.
District 5 Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari proposed the legislation to address displacement.
“Investors are coming in, buying up housing that was formerly that was formerly Section 8, or accepted housing vouchers, and discontinuing the program and evicting the people that were utilizing vouchers,” Bakhtiari said.
City Council would partner with The Fulton County Development Authority, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine, MARTA and the Atlanta Housing Authority. Any developer receiving money from one of these agencies or the city will be asked to register with Atlanta Housing and accept vouchers.
Invest Atlanta CEO Dr. Elosia Klementich is one of the executives Atlanta City Council plans to partner with to enforce the measure if it’s passed. She commended their work.
“Expanding housing opportunities is fundamental in creating economic stability and prosperity for all Atlantans,” Klementich said. "This measure removes yet another barrier to access and supports those among us who need it most."
Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, reports over 162,000 households in the Atlanta Metro area qualify as extremely low-income, but there are only about 43,000 affordable and available rental homes.
Bakhtiari said this resolution won’t completely bridge the gap, but it’s a start.
“Organizers have been doing this work for years, who we are now working with instead of against,“ she said.
Mayor Andre Dickens has a plan to build or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing. City Councilmember Bakhtiari said issues like building supportive housing, creating workforce housing for city employees, addressing the missing middle, and making utilities also need to be addressed.