Mayor Bottoms and the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors approved financing for several affordable housing developments at the board’s first meetings of 2019. The projects will bring new affordable rental units along one of the City of Atlanta’s most important emerging commercial corridors, as well as affordable for-sale properties in the Westside neighborhoods of Vine City and English Avenue.
“We continue to focus on new and different solutions to meet Atlanta’s affordable housing needs,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Achieving our vision for One Atlanta will require providing support for an array of housing options for our legacy residents. Our actions represent a good first step for us as we look to make significant progress toward that goal in 2019.”
“As Atlanta continues to grow, we need to be even more strategic and resourceful in finding ways to achieve affordability throughout the city,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “These three projects represent the type of thinking needed to make affordable living in the city an option for many more residents. Long-term ground leases, land trust models, and layered financing strategies give us a bigger toolbox to work with and opportunities to address more of the affordability spectrum.”
CityPlace Affordable Housing
The Board approved a loan increase of up to $1,000,000 from the Vine City Housing Trust Fund to Place Properties to construct affordable modular single-family homes for sale in the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods.
Previously, Place Properties completed an initial home located at 621 James P. Brawley and will use this funding to complete 5 additional residences. At the board’s direction, Place Properties and Invest Atlanta staff collaborated to make the homes affordable with lower-cost designs and did so through modular design and varied housing styles and structures, including duplexes, triplexes, and grannie flats.
The next five units for sale will have target price points between $135,000-$160,000, a significant reduction from the original target price point. With down payment assistance programs, the homes could potentially be available to households earning between 60 to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). These homes will also be Invest Atlanta’s first completed properties placed within the Atlanta Land Trust, which will provide permanent homeownership affordability.
The Invest Atlanta Board approved a loan of up to $250,000 from the Vine City Housing Trust Fund to finance construction on four single-family, for-sale homes in the English Avenue neighborhood. Sims Real Estate Group will rehab and restore three currently blighted homes and construct one new home. Once work is complete, the three rehabbed homes will be available to families earning 80 percent AMI or below, and the new home will be for sale to families earning 100-120 percent AMI. Down payment assistance will be available through Invest Atlanta for purchasers to ensure greater levels of affordability.
The project fits within the City of Atlanta’s overall strategy to make as many homes affordable for legacy residents. It does so by using a novel approach within the City of Atlanta of having a 99-year ground lease at $1 per year to eliminate land costs from the purchase price. The goal is to give these properties over to the Atlanta Land Trust to ensure affordability in perpetuity.
The Invest Atlanta Board approved up to $1.3 million in pay-as-you-go grant funding from the Metropolitan Parkway TAD for the 130-unit Hartland Station multi-family development. Invest Atlanta previously supported Hartland Station with $14 million in tax-exempt bond and gap financing. The development will be a modern garden style, 3-story community aimed at revitalizing a portion of an underserved commercial corridor along Metropolitan Parkway in the Sylvan Hills neighborhood.
Hartland Station will include 40 units set aside for those earning 50 percent AMI and below and 70 units set aside for those earning 60 percent AMI or below. This residential community will be equipped with several amenities including a business center, a picnic area, tot lots and an exercise room. To ensure this level of affordability, Invest Atlanta is providing additional layers of financing, including tax-exempt bonds and a Housing Opportunity Bond loan. This level of affordability will be in place for 30 years.
Through its various affordable housing strategies, Invest Atlanta continues to play a key role in helping the Mayor Bottoms and City of Atlanta bring more affordability to the city. In 2018, Invest Atlanta supported the creation of 926 units of affordable housing intended for residents earning 30 to 80 percent AMI.