Market-rate development since the end of the recession has far outpaced development of low-income and affordable housing units. That’s led to soaring rents in the city, and critics have said AHA has failed to develop new units to help combat rising housing costs.
Riddick-Seals said the agency needs to ensure there’s a balance of affordable housing to help prevent displacement.
Buell was appointed authority president and CEO in 2016 after a battle between Reed and the previous housing authority chief, Renee Glover. Buell was a key Reed ally, and worked with the former mayor to complete the purchase of the Atlanta Civic Center for a planned mixed-use, mixed-income community.
Reed and Buell, meanwhile, pursued litigation against Glover and prominent Atlanta developer Egbert Perry over land deals during Glover's tenure. The city recently dropped a lawsuit alleging Glover and Perry forged a backroom deal to build upscale homes on 80 acres of vacant land set aside for low-income residents.
A separate AHA suit also was dismissed. Perry’s counterclaims, however, are pending in court.
Riddick-Seals said he is not concerned about the litigation.
“We have a team, and I trust our staff, and I am looking forward to coming into the office tomorrow and putting our heads together and coming up with solutions to move affordable housing forward,” he said.