At their monthly meeting, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors approved a $2.4 million grant from the Westside TAD Community Improvement Fund to expand the Westside Heritage Owner-Occupied Rehab (OOR) program. This initiative offers residents forgivable loans to make critical health and safety repairs on their homes.
The new funding comes as the pilot program in the Westside wraps up this summer after helping eight Westside homeowners fix things on their homes like a leaky roof, plumbing, electrical work, foundation repairs and other necessities. In March, Invest Atlanta opened Westside Heritage OOR program to mare residents and launched programs for residents in Choice Neighborhoods and citywide.
“We feel like we’re in a good position to scale up,” said Jennifer Fine, Invest Atlanta’s Vice President of Planning and Strategic Initiatives, when the item was initially approved by the TAD Committee a week earlier.
Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell, a member of the TAD Committee, added at the time: “I think it’s one of the best projects I’ve seen Invest Atlanta do.”
The $2.4 million in additional funding will allow more residents to receive a forgivable loan of up to $60,000 for home repair work in the Westside neighborhoods of Vine City, English Avenue, and portions of Castleberry Hill. Because there are relatively few existing low-to-moderate income homeowners within the Westside TAD neighborhoods, the program will impact almost 20% of homeowners in the area.
Invest Atlanta has received around 500 applications for the citywide, Choice Neighborhoods, and Westside Heritage Owner-Occupied Rehab programs, which are all part of the City of Atlanta’s larger community retention effort.
Linda Graham is one of five homeowners who received repairs as part of the pilot program. She has lived in Vine City for more than 25 years, and had considered moving before joining the Owner-Occupied Rehab program.
“I have such a deep gratitude for Invest Atlanta and am so tickled with all the work that was done,” she said. “To extend that arm of assistance is very impressive. It shows they really care about homeowners and our community."