The Atlanta Regional Commission announced today that it will provide critical planning and technical support to eight metro Atlanta communities through the agency’s Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP).
The projects were chosen through a competitive process that solicited proposals from cities, counties, and non-profit organizations across the Atlanta region. ARC will provide a combination of staffing resources and grants to the selected communities to support a wide range of community development initiatives that aim to improve quality of life for residents.
In 2021, the program will focus on helping communities build resiliency and improve social equity.
ARC evaluated applicants based on eight regional priority issues that were developed based on feedback from local governments:
- Access to Healthy Food
- Housing Affordability
- Creative Placemaking
- Lifelong Communities
- Green Infrastructure
- Smart Communities
- Historic Preservation
- Workforce Development
The following projects will receive assistance from ARC staff through the CDAP program:
Fairburn Community Garden Plan
The City of Fairburn aspires to develop a community garden that will stimulate social interaction among residents, increase physical activity, and provide an area with limited access to grocery stores with access to fresh, healthy produce. The completed plan will identify sites across the city for future community gardens, elements to include in each garden, as well as implementation strategies and potential funding sources.
Sandy Springs Flood Mitigation and Resilience Strategy
Developing this strategy would be a first step in Sandy Springs’ establishment of a comprehensive climate resilience plan. The flood mitigation and resilience component of the plan will unify current existing work on the city’s flood issues. As part of this process, the city will work with ARC’s City Simulator, a geographic information system (GIS) tool capable of gathering and analyzing a wide variety of geographical data. Using the tool will enable Sandy Springs to accurately predict its infrastructure’s vulnerability to threats such as flooding. The city will incorporate the resulting report into its eventual resilience plan.
South Fulton Citizen Board Training
This training will bring together members of several of this new city’s boards to arm them with the knowledge and tools necessary to work with community members, elected officials, and developers as they consider key infrastructure and development decisions in the months and years to come. In addition, the county will receive a re-usable lesson plan that they can use in the future to educate new citizen boards as well as the wider community.
South River Forest Consensus Building and Stakeholder Engagement
ARC will convene stakeholders to discuss the potential impact of improved residential access to green space in the 3,500-acree South River Forest area — specifically, the impact on factors such as economic development, tree canopy protection, and water quality. This process will engage both residents and elected officials in an exploration process of the potential for this considerable green space, including examining case studies of similar areas elsewhere and reviewing regulations and policies in the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County affecting the area.
Tucker Arts in the Alleys Initiative
The City of Tucker will integrate public art into the alleys in downtown Tucker to enhance the overall sense of place, create an economic driver for local businesses, and allow all residents and visitors to feel comfortable and welcome. In addition, teams made up of local arts and culture professionals taking part in this year’s ARC Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) class are developing potential mock-up designs addressing this challenge — and will be in conversation with Tucker about potential future collaboration.
The following projects will receive project grants through the CDAP program:
Chamblee Housing Study
Grant Amount: $120,000
This housing study will complete a preliminary assessment, begun by Georgia State University students, evaluating the city’s housing for demographic, economic, and affordability data — establishing the number of residents who are cost-burdened, that is, paying 30% or more of their income on housing. The study will also develop recommendations for improving housing stability and affordability.
Dunwoody Edge City 2.0 Redevelopment Plan
Grant Amount: $120,000
This redevelopment plan will create a vision for the portion of Perimeter Center that lies within Dunwoody. This vision will incorporate new mixed use and multifamily development based on three different growth scenarios: low, medium, and high. Each will align with the 2020 Dunwoody Comprehensive Plan. Residents and other stakeholders will then be invited to review the plans. A final report will include an assessment of existing conditions, case studies for each growth scenario, and a summary of stakeholder discussions.
Grant Amount: $80,000
This project responds to Buckhead’s housing affordability challenge by exploring the feasibility of a program in which employers assist in securing affordable housing units for employees, as well as gauging interest in such a program among both employers and residents. Thirdly, it will assess the feasibility of employer-assisted affordable housing units from both legal and policy perspectives. Previously, a study found a gap in housing supply for those who earn less than $50,000 annually. The study found that demand for affordable housing was sufficient to fill 6,000 housing units. After determining the interest in and feasibility of employer-assisted affordable housing, this project will create a toolkit that outlines strategies for implementing recommendations.