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Co-Living Model Provides New Pathway to Affordable Housing

The Invest Atlanta Board of Directors, under the leadership of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, approved support for two new co-living developments. This marks the first time IA has supported this type of co-living development, which offers a new solution for the creation of new affordable housing in Atlanta.

The Board approved $22 million lease-purchase bond financing for the construction of 176 multifamily housing at the 1061 Memorial development. Twenty-seven of the units (15% of the total) will be restricted to this income level. In addition, the Board approved $32 million lease-purchase bond financing for Englewood, a 250-unit multifamily housing development in the Chosewood Park community. Thirty-eight of the units will be restricted to those earning 80% AMI or below.

While all 426 units are projected to be affordable to those earning 80% AMI or below, 65 of the units will be restricted as affordable workforce housing to comply to the City of Atlanta’s inclusionary zoning policy. This policy requires new developments within the Atlanta BeltLine Overlay District to restrict 15% of the units at 80% Area Median Income (AMI) or 10% of the units at 60% AMI. (Current HUD income limits can be found here.)

Co-Living is a modern, high-quality approach that is meant to serve the over 25 million American adults who currently live with roommates. Co-Living offers those who can't afford to live alone in a studio a better experience than the typical roommate share (whether sharing with friends or sharing with strangers via Craigslist). The co-living model provides residents with a private bedroom, a stocked shared kitchen, weekly cleaning services, free laundry, and communal living spaces.

“We’ve been working here in Atlanta on market-rate affordable housing for the last 10 years or so,” said Derrick Barker of the developer Civitas. “We are doing anything we can to harness market forces to build more affordable units.”

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