Atlanta mayor to rezone some neighborhoods to create more affordable housing

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is promoting an affordable housing plan that would rezone many of the city’s single-family housing neighborhoods to allow for greater density, according to an announcement on Thursday.

As the city’s population continues to grow, it will require land use that allows for more people, according to the Bottoms. The city’s planning department’s website says that the city is the 316th most densely populated city in the U.S. However, its population has boomed over the past few decades, causing home prices and rents to skyrocket.

Adding more housing stock would lower the housing costs for many residents, Bottoms administration has argued.

Bottoms is proposing a zoning amendment that she says would unlock 60% of Atlanta’s land for more housing. The amendment would allow for second units on properties, such as basement apartments, without substantially changing the character and feel of the neighborhood, according to Bottoms’ office,

“The Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative builds on our Administration’s One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan, addressing systemic racism and working to ensure affordable housing for all,” Bottoms said in a press release. “For too long, housing policies have excluded those who are most vulnerable, particularly communities of color. We are taking bold actions to reverse these policies and close the homeownership gap and rental affordability for legacy residents of Atlanta.”

In 2017, Bottoms campaigned on a $1 billion affordable housing trust fund to help low income residents remain in their neighborhoods.