Decatur Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers. Courtesy of Tony Powers

Decatur announces 23-person Affordable Housing Task Force

Decatur’s commission recently approved a 23-person Affordable Housing Task Force, a citizen-driven board chosen from about 50 candidates who submitted letters of interest. The collective will eventually select a chairman and schedule a series of public meetings, though no timetable has yet been determined.

“We tried to get a cross section,” said Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers who, along with Mayor Patti Garrett, interviewed prospective members. “We’ve got folks from the private sector, from banking, real estate and folks who’ve worked in affordable housing. We’ve got a lot of incredibly talented people.”

Powers admitted the Task Force’s goals aren’t altogether solidified, although one of its initial challenges is crafting a definition of affordable housing as it fits the city.

Save for those properties run by the Decatur Housing Authority, which totals 484 units, the city has no real affordable housing density. Most “affordable housing” in Decatur, if it exists at all, comprises 10 percent or less of those mixed-use developments recently built, or getting built, or in the planning stages.

It’s hoped, Powers added, the Task Force will submit a report to city commissioners in December.

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