The Invest Atlanta Board of Directors approved the 2021 Housing Opportunity Bond Program, which includes $50 million Taxable Draw-Down Bonds and $100 million Taxable Revenue Bonds. This is the third and largest issuance of Housing Opportunity Bonds sponsored by the City of Atlanta to fund housing programs. Previous issuances were in 2007 and 2017, totaling $75 million.
“The Housing Opportunity Program has been very creative and prolific in terms of housing production in Atlanta,” said Alan Ferguson, senior vice president of Community Development at Invest Atlanta. “Previous issuances have supported over 3,000 affordable housing units, and we expect that level of production and more with this issuance.”
The majority of the capital will be allocated for projects and developments in the form of loans. As with previous Housing Opportunity Bond issuances, repayments to the loans are collected in a separate account and reallocated to support the needs of various programs – such as additional down payment assistance and multifamily gap financing. “These funds will be recycled and will come back over time,” said Ferguson. “We’ll use those proceeds to create additional units going forward.”
Initially, this program was to be introduced in early 2020, about the time the pandemic hit. But because of revenue uncertainty, it was placed on hold until another viable solution could be found. “This is a really big deal,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at a recent Invest Atlanta board meeting, “especially in the midst of where we are with the economy and the pandemic.