Atlanta City Council Passes Affordable Housing Ordinance

On Monday, May 2nd, Atlanta City Council passed a city-wide affordable housing ordinance that will require any multi-family residential property for lease that receives a subsidy, grant or incentive from a development authority or public entity doing work in the City of Atlanta to set aside affordable units. Affected developments must set aside either 10% of units affordable for residents with 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or 15% of units affordable at 80% AMI.

The ordinance, proposed by At Large Councilman Andre Dickens, is considered a first step in implementing the City’s adopted Housing Strategy developed and promoted by the Mayor’s office and City Council. The Council for Quality Growth will remain involved with the City’s efforts to provide affordable workforce housing in the City to ensure that development community stakeholders are involved in shaping the City’s policies. The Council hosted Councilman Andre Dickens at this week’s to discuss the recently passed affordable housing ordinance, its implementation and how the Council can remain actively involved in future policy. Click HERE to read the Atlanta Advisory Committee meeting summary.

Click HERE to view the adopted affordable housing ordinance

Councilman Andre Dickens Statement on adopting the ordinance is below:

On Monday, by a vote of 14-1, my colleagues on the Atlanta City Council passed a citywide Affordable Housing Ordinance that I authored as an important first step in providing affordable housing options for the people of Atlanta. We heard from both the community and from developers and we incorporated some of their great ideas. With passage of this ordinance, any multi-family residential property for lease that receives a grant, incentive, or subsidy in the City of Atlanta will be obligated to adhere to the housing set asides. That means that either 10% of the units at 60% Area Median Income (AMI) and below or 15% of the units at 80% AMI and below meet the provisions of the ordinance. The greater collaboration on this effort provided options for even deeper affordability standards.

Mixed income communities have a proven track record of improving our community outcomes. We ensured in the ordinance that the affordable housing units would be similar in construction and appearance (e.g., square footage, type and brand of appliances, materials used for countertops, flooring, etc.) to the market rate units and would not be in isolated areas in the development, but interspersed among the market rate units.

I am committed to ensuring development without displacement and providing practical diverse housing options for our diverse community. I share the real concern of the Mayor and the Council about inequity and unbalanced growth in Atlanta. This collaborative effort included the Mayor and his office, Councilmembers, the Departments of Community Development & Planning and Law, Invest Atlanta, members of the nonprofit sector and for profit housing professionals and housing advocates. The insightful conversations that I had with the Development Authority of Fulton County and the Development Authority of DeKalb County also helped to shape this paper.  Additional thanks to GA Stand-Up, Georgia Act, ANDP, Council for Quality Growth, Apartment Association, Progressive Redevelopment, APN, HDDC, AFSC, SILC of GA, Dragon Group, Selig Enterprises, Novare Group, ULI, the CIDs, and so many others that provided input at meetings.

This ordinance is a tangible step forward to help Atlantans today and into the future but this is just one step to creating real affordable housing in Atlanta. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with this Council and Mayor to provide realistic housing opportunities that help to improve the lives of all Atlantans.Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council, Post 3 At-Large