Atlanta could give police foundation $500K for public safety housing

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens wants to allocate federal funds towards housing incentives for the city’s public safety officials, according to a news release from the city.

Dickens wants Atlanta City Council to OK an allocation of $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to the Atlanta Police Foundation. The police foundation is working with the Atlanta Apartment Association to provide housing subsidies to firefighters, police officers and corrections officials living near their stations or in their zones, according to the city.

In a statement, Dickens said this investment will help Atlanta’s public safety personnel live in the communities they serve.

“People who work in Atlanta should be able to afford to live in Atlanta,” said the mayor’s statement.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi is spearheading the effort in the legislative branch. He sponsored the resolution that would authorize the funds for the police foundation. He said in a statement that the investment will improve the city’s recruitment and retention efforts.

“I’m excited to partner with the Mayor to launch this innovative housing program,” said Farokhi’s statement. “We have been working on it for over a year and I believe it will make for safer neighborhoods and more stable public safety agencies.”

The resolution was already co-sponsored by his 14 councilmembers when Farokhi introduced it at Monday’s City Council meeting. It was referred to the Finance/Executive Committee, which meets Jan. 23.

ExploreAmong U.S. police foundations, Atlanta is an outlier

Atlanta worked with the police foundation last year to open what officials called the nation’s first apartment complex for police recruits. At that time, Dave Wilkinson, the foundation’s president & CEO, said his organization is also working with the city and developers to build up to 50 houses for city officers.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation revealed last year that the Atlanta Police Foundation is one of the most powerful U.S. police foundation organizations in the country. It serves as a key conduit between City Hall and the corporate community on issues of crime and public safety.

The police nonprofit is also leasing the land where the city is building a new training ground for Atlanta’s police officers and firefighters. The foundation is spearheading the $90 million project. It is also contributing two-thirds of the construction funds.

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