Reed said the city doesn’t want to see residents displaced by gentrification. He said housing for firefighters, cops and other working class people is a high priority.
“Equity is one of the most important conversations going on in the city of Atlanta,” he said.
The Mechanicsville community was developed in partnership with the city, the state Department of Community Affairs, the nonprofit SUMMECH Community Development Corp, Columbia Residential and Brock Built Homes.
The homes are just west of Turner Field along Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.
Eligible tenants can make up to 60 percent of the area median income. The median household income in the city of Atlanta is about $46,400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Affordable housing tax credits and federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds are part of the program. Occupants rent through the lease-purchase program for 15 years and are then eligible to become homeowners.
The families also receive financial counseling, said Janis Ware, executive director of SUMMECH CDC. Ware said about 1,500 people are on a waiting list for the homes.
“The demand for this type of housing is there,” Ware said.
Turner Field, which is being acquired by Georgia State University and private sector developers, is slated to become a football stadium for the Panthers with an adjacent mixed-use development, including housing, retail and restaurants.
Noel Khalil, CEO of Columbia Residential, said denser development, more housing and retail around Turner Field “is only going strengthen the redevelopment here.”
He said he expects construction to be finished by spring.