Housing Plan Profile: Atlanta, Georgia

Plan title: Great Housing in Great Neighborhoods [PDF], available on the Bureau of Housing website.

Issued: November 2006

Overview: This plan was prepared by the Affordable Workforce Housing Implementation Task Force, which was formed in fall 2005 at Mayor Franklin’s request to implement the Mayor’s Economic Development Plan goal of creating 10,000 units of workforce housing by 2009. It focuses on the implementation of three main ideas presented in an earlier visioning report: creation of a land assemblage fund, creation of a new fund for affordable housing programs, and development of an inclusionary zoning ordinance. The plan thoroughly reviews options for implementing these action areas, identifies potential legal obstacles and best practices from other communities, and provides other background research on these initiatives. The plan also includes specifications for a new income targeting policy to be applied consistently to all programs where the City has discretion, detailing the proportions in which program funds will be committed.

Selected Strategies:

  • Create a revolving loan “Housing Opportunity Fund” to fund a broad range of affordable housing programs; ensure compatibility with requirements for awards from a housing trust fund capitalized with proceeds from BeltLine Tax Allocation District bonds.
  • Develop a voluntary inclusionary zoning ordinance requiring an affordable housing set-aside of 10 percent of units in developments with more than 10 units, with incentives for participation including a 20 percent density bonus, reduced permitting fees, and possibly tax abatements. Thirty-year stipulations on owner-occupied units give the City right of first refusal for repurchase, and a sliding scale shared appreciation agreement between the City and the owner.
  • Create a land assemblage financing loan program for developers seeking to build affordable housing, allowing a loan-to-value ratio up to 120 percent and partnering with the Land Bank Authority to hold land committed to affordable housing tax-free and clear up title issues.

Financing Sources Identified:

  • Land Assemblage Financing Fund, set up with credit from financial institutions (proposed)
  • BeltLine Tax Allocation District (TAD) bond revenue—Similar to a tax-increment financing district, a TAD is a zone targeted for development, for which the local government issues bonds to pay for eligible improvements. All incremental property tax revenue collected in the zone, above an original baseline, is then set aside for the 25-year lifespan of the TAD to pay off the bonds.
  • Housing Opportunity Fund, capitalized with proceeds from a municipal bond issue (proposed)

Background:

Written by the Affordable Workforce Housing Implementation Task Force (formed at the Mayor’s request).

The lead agency is the Atlanta Housing Authority, other public partners identified in the plan include the Atlanta Development Authority (Housing Finance Division), Atlanta Renewal Community Coordinating Responsible Authority, and the Atlanta Land Bank Authority, Atlanta Bureau of Housing.

An implementation timeline is not identified. Production goals are not specified, but the potential impacts of each strategy are identified. The target population includes households earning 30 to 60 percent of metro area median income (AMI) for rental units, and households earning 60 to 100 percent of AMI for owner-occupied units.

 

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