Mayor Dickens Lays Out New Goals for Affordable Housing

On October 26th, 2023, Mayor Andre Dickens delivered an address highlighting his administration’s commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in Atlanta.

The mayor’s goal is to build or preserve 20,000 affordable housing units within his eight-year term. In just the first two years of his administration, the city has made remarkable progress, with over 3,000 units already delivered and nearly 5,000 more in the pipeline.

During his speech, Mayor Dickens outlined his team’s strategy and partnerships. The approach includes repurposing underutilized properties, such as the iconic 41-story 2 Peachtree building, which will be transformed into affordable housing and bring new life to downtown Atlanta. His administration’s Housing Strike Force has been working on 40 public land projects across the city, leveraging partnerships with Atlanta Housing, the Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta Public Schools, Invest Atlanta, MARTA, the Metro Atlanta Land Bank, and other agencies. Total funding from public and private sources in 2023 has reached $300 million and is being used to secure additional affordable housing units.

The administration’s commitment extends beyond constructing new units; it also includes retaining existing units, especially for residents living in substandard conditions or at risk of being priced out. Mayor Dickens addressed ongoing issues with landlords and discussed a class action lawsuit to hold them accountable for neglect and mismanagement. The Safe and Secure Housing Initiative seeks to ensure that properties meet the standards for safe and quality housing. The mayor also emphasized the importance of providing rapid housing for the city’s unhoused population.

Mayor Dickens is also working to preserve the housing of legacy and senior residents. Initiatives like property tax relief and rehabilitation programs aim to keep these individuals in their homes and neighborhoods while preserving affordable homeownership opportunities for future generations. And for those at risk of losing their homes, the mayor announced a $2 million eviction diversion program that will operate from the newly opened Housing Help Center.

His conclusion stated that this initiative goes beyond numbers; it’s about building a healthier, safer, and more equitable Atlanta where everyone has a place to call home.