Georgia Trust acquires Beltline properties for affordable housing

The Georgia Trust has recently acquired three Beltline properties in West Atlanta to rehabilitate and sell back to the community as affordable housing, it announced in a press release.

Two of the properties are houses that the Trust will rehabilitate; the third property is an undeveloped lot on which the Trust will construct a new house that is affordable, environmentally sustainable and architecturally compatible with the historic neighborhood. After construction is completed, all three houses will be made available for purchase as affordable housing through the Georgia Trust’s Revolving Fund program, which provides effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties.

The properties are located on or adjacent to Atlanta’s Beltline in historic Washington Park and Mozley Park, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The two houses contribute to the historical integrity and architectural qualities of those neighborhoods.

The Washington Park house was built in 1953 for Edward Johnson, who raised his family in the home. Located adjacent to the Westside Beltline, the house contains 1,500 square feet with three bedrooms.

The house in Mozley Park is a two-bedroom bungalow that was built in the 1920s and contains 1,300 square feet.

The undeveloped Beltline lot is adjacent to the Washington Park house.

All three properties were purchased from the family of Edward Johnson, a longtime resident of the community who served during World War II as a ground school instructor with the Tuskegee Airmen. A longstanding member of Friendship Baptist Church—a historic black church recently displaced by the Mercedes-Benz Stadium—Johnson became the first black licensed master electrician in the city of Atlanta. In 1947 he started his own business, Johnson and Wood Electric Company, in partnership with a fellow Tuskegee graduate, Charles Wood Sr. Their company wired homes and businesses, did repairs, and served as a training ground for young black electricians. After retiring, he continued to work weekends at the Clark Atlanta University power plant until he stopped at the age of 80.