Fulton wants your opinion on affordable housing (and federal money)

New multi-family housing rises in downtown Sandy Springs. The City Council has updated its development incentives to encourage the construction of affordable housing. AJC FILE
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New multi-family housing rises in downtown Sandy Springs. The City Council has updated its development incentives to encourage the construction of affordable housing. AJC FILE

Aside from traffic and a Falcons Superbowl win, few things matter to some Fulton County residents more than housing.

In order to get federal funding, Fulton County officials are holding for sessions this week to hear the public’s opinions on housing along with homelessness.

Input from residents will also be used for a fair housing analysis identifying barriers to equal access to housing and proposing fixes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires sessions for the public to voice their opinion in order for Fulton to get money from HUD programs, including: the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership and Emergency Solutions Grant.

The county said on its website that it is developing a five-year plan that involves identifying housing problems and setting priorities for how Fulton officials would use federal funding to cure those issues.


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Areas of the metro are seeing intense amounts of gentrification, seen by wealthier white residents displacing poorer black residents. That includes the historic and hot housing market of the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta.

But the sessions will be held throughout Fulton, because growth isn’t just happening in the city of Atlanta.

According to an Atlanta Regional Commission study released this month, the non-Atlanta parts of Fulton grew by 6,540 people in 2018.

In 2018, those non-Atlanta portions of Fulton had 3,210 single-family home building permits. That was the second-highest in the metro area, barely behind Gwinnett County's permit numbers.

An increasing hunger of homes can also be seen in southern Fulton. The 2.5-square-mile city of Hapeville in February began the process to insulate its 2,100 homeowners from rising property values by upping its homestead exemption.


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Eugene James, a senior director with real estate data firm MetroStudy, previously said that home prices in the southern part of Fulton County had a 19 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018.

The county is also reckoning with how Northside mixed-use giants change the housing landscape — including Avalon in Alpharetta, The Battery Atlanta in Cobb County attached to the Braves stadium just outside the Perimeter and Halycon in southern Forsyth County.

These developments add denser housing to the suburbs but sell luxury living for eye-popping prices for an OTP apartment.


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The county said a draft of the plans will be available for public review on Fulton County's Community Development Department website, www.fultoncountyga.gov/fchcd-home, in late 2019.

Those who can't attend any of the sessions below can take a survey online, atlantaconplan.com/survey.

North Fulton community meeting

Sept. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.

North Fulton Service Center

7741 Roswell Road NE in Sandy Springs

Non-profit community meeting 

Sept. 19, 1 to 3 p.m.

South Fulton Service Center

5600 Stonewall Tell Road in South Fulton

Southern Fulton community meeting 

Sept. 25, 6 to 8 p.m.

South Fulton Service Center

5600 Stonewall Tell Road in South Fulton


In other news...

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No. 5: Roswell No. 4: Marietta No. 3: Alpharetta No. 2: Decatur And the suburb you picked as No. 1: Brookhaven

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