In January, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors supported plans for oaksATL Community Development, Inc. to renovate sixteen multi-family apartment units in English Avenue. Two vacant buildings will be redeveloped by the nonprofit development company in order to provide affordable rental housing adjacent to Peace Preparatory Academy. oaksATL, in conjunction with Peace Preparatory Academy, will receive a grant of up to $500,000 from the Westside TAD Community Improvement Fund to help finance the project.
Randy Hazelton, the vice chair of the IA Board, shared his support of the project, saying: “I’ve had the privilege to work alongside oaksATL, to see the amazing work they’re doing.” The mission of oaksATL and Peace Preparatory Academy is to address the relationship between housing stability and community well-being by providing access to quality education, safe and affordable housing, and proximity to parks and employment. Currently, the school has 60 students spanning pre-kindergarten through fourth grade and plans to continue to expand through 12th grade. Families, who come from English Avenue, Vine City, and adjacent neighborhoods, pay tuition on a sliding scale through the assistance of individual, foundation, and corporate donors.
Continued Hazelton, “This is an organization where their actions – everything they say they’re going to do – they do. When you talk about building deep and true affordability in an area like English Avenue, where most of the residents feel forgotten about, it’s just incredible. These are the type of projects that we have to continue to fund.”
The two buildings, currently blighted and in disrepair, are located at 891 North Ave NW and 551 Lindsay Street NW. Post renovations, North Avenue will provide ten two-bedroom apartments; Lindsay Street will offer six two-bedroom units. The renovations will include new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, exterior doors and windows, and interior finishes. Additionally, the new buildings will receive exterior façade and site improvements.
Under the terms of the Westside TAD, oaksATL will offer the rental units at a deep level of affordability. At least half of the apartments will be available at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining units will be kept at or below 80% AMI. The compliance period for maintaining this affordability is twenty years.