Atlanta housing group forms $5 million partnership with Truist Bank

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

An Atlanta housing group has received a $5 million grant from Truist Bank in an effort to improve access to capital for historically underfinanced minorities, women, and rural affordable housing developers in metro Atlanta and Georgia.

The nonprofit Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership announced Monday that the grant will allow it to leverage $5 million in funding over a period of three years with new and existing capital, along with matching loans from partner Community Development Financial Institution. The overarching investment could exceed $50 million, according to the nonprofit organization.

The grant was made late last year through the Truist Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation. Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership President & CEO John O’Callaghan said the funds will help them provide people with access to affordable housing development capital, thus creating new housing opportunities while stimulating economic growth within historically marginalized communities.

The nonprofit, Truist and the city shared the news during a ceremony at the Towne at Lakewood Heights apartment community in Southwest Atlanta on Monday. Ellen Fitzsimmons, Chief Legal Officer at Truist, said the investment is being used to support the local developer restoring the property.

The Black-owned development firm Domos Co-Living purchased the property for $22 million and is working to preserve the 181-unit community because it is nearing the end of its regulatory compliance period, and it was at risk of conversion to market rate housing upon sale by the previous owner. Domos Co-Living received a $3 million preferred equity investment from the neighborhood development partnership, sourced in part from the Truist grant.

The work to preserve the property comes as Mayor Andre Dickens continues toward his goal of building and preserving 20,000 affordable units by 2026.

“These public-private partnerships are crucial for cities like ours, for Atlanta,” Dickens said. “We work hard to be able to meet these affordable housing goals and we must make sure that housing growth in this city keeps up with our people growth, our job growth.”

Dickens said public-private partnerships are necessary because Atlanta’s housing demand has outpaced its supply. Saying “we’ve been a victim of our own success in this city,” Dickens acknowledged the city really has a 40,000 to 50,000 unit deficit.

The mayor said the city has to move forward with its’ private partners, minority developers, and nonprofits to solve the city’s challenges.

“We’re a group project,” Dickens said. “You don’t get 20,000 (units) out of City Hall. You get 20,000 with the collective of all of us together in order to keep moving the city forward.”