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Community Builders Revitalize the Westside

Royal Family Properties serves as a perfect example of how Invest Atlanta programs are working together to build community capacity for Westside revitalization and encouraging private investment.

Invest Atlanta launched the Community Builders program in 2017 to train Westside resident property owners and other community stakeholders in core property redevelopment skills. A year later, the Invest Atlanta Board approved the creation of a $150,000 Westside Tax Allocation District (TAD) Community Builders Pre-Development Fund to provide graduates of the program with grants for eligible expenses.

Now, with help from a recently approved $36,000 Westside TAD Community Builders Grant, Royal Family Properties is able to finance improvements to a residential property on Griffin Street in Vine City. Plans include adding two, one-bed/one-bath living units to the owner-occupied, single-family property. Each unit will be approximately 400 square feet and will be rented to local residents for rates at or below 50% of the area median income for one person.

Approximately 850 square feet will be added to the existing home, and a new entry will be created for the new dwelling units, with a shared hallway that opens to both new and existing bedrooms. Each new dwelling unit will contain a bathroom, laundry room, closet space and eating area. The existing kitchen will be reconfigured to accommodate use by both the existing bedroom and the new dwelling units.

“This program represents what true community engagement and wealth-building means,” said Alan Ferguson, senior vice president of Community Development at Invest Atlanta. “It ensures that our residents and stakeholders are involved in the transformation that’s occurring within their communities and are not just observers. We are hoping to repeat and expand the program in the future.”

Randy Hazelton, Invest Atlanta Board member, agreed saying: “This project is fulfilling the goal of retaining our legacy communities and doing it at a scale that’s accessible to folks who can’t come in as a big developer. It’s a good step in community engagement that will hopefully build capacity over time in our neighborhoods, and I appreciate the work.”

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