Sandy Springs Releases November 2020 Housing Needs Assessment

On November 3, 2020, Sandy Springs released the November 2020 Housing Needs Assessment. The city has plans to revitalize its north end, including partnering with developers to transform four blighted shopping centers into mixed-use projects that include housing components. As well as other parts of Sandy Springs, especially along the Roswell Road corridor.

The eight subareas in the presentation are categorized geographically, with number 1 and 2 in the south end of the city, the next three in the middle and the last three in the north portion.

The main two points in this presentation are entry-level housing and the aging population. According to the presentation, Sandy Springs currently lacks entry-level, single-family homeownership opportunities with 81% of single-family homes being sold above $400,000, a price that is generally unattainable to most households making less than $115,000 annually.

Summary & Key Findings

Homeowner Needs

  • Entry Level Housing – Sandy Springs lacks “entry-level” single-family homeownership opportunities below $400K.
  • Aging Population – Sandy Springs homeowners are increasingly becoming older as the city is becoming less accessible to young and middle-aged families.

Renter Needs

  • Displacement Concerns – Renters earning less than $50,000 annually are leaving Sandy Springs due to increasing housing costs and decreasing housing supply below 60% AMI.
  • Limited New Development – Sandy Springs’ code restrictions drive up construction costs and reduce multifamily development, resulting in a reduced tax base, lower household growth, and higher housing costs.

Employer Needs

  • Workforce Attraction – Service/essential industry employers face significant recruitment and retention challenges due to high housing costs and limited public transportation.
  • Regional Employment Center – The city’s cost of living and quality of life advantages, valued highly by employers, are at risk if lower- and moderate-income households cannot afford housing in Sandy Springs.

Presentation Highlights:

  • From 2011 to 2018, growth by income for households making less than $50,000 a year has declined by 2, 3 and 27% in the city for household income levels of $35,000 to $49,999, $20,000 to $34,999 and less than $20,000, respectively.
  • 86% of new construction attached and detached single-family homes built within the
    last decade sold above $400k in recent years.
  • Owner Housing Needs – There is demand for 1,980 units at or below 50% AMI compared with 180 units selling at prices affordable to those income levels – a supply gap of 1,800 units
  • Renter Housing Needs – There is demand for 7,100 units at or below 50% AMI compared with 1,830 units renting at these rates within the City – a supply gap of 5,270 units.
  • Although the number of renter households increased, the number of rental units,
    particularly multifamily, renting at less than 80% AMI across all household sizes has
    decreased since 2012.
  • Since 2011, renter households earning less than $50K annually have decreased by 1,800, an indicator that displacement of lower income households is occurring in Sandy Springs.