New affordable housing coming for legacy renters

Squalor from nearly three years ago in the English Avenea area. AJC file photo

Squalor from nearly three years ago in the English Avenea area. AJC file photo

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced recently another step forward in mitigating the displacement of legacy renters in Atlanta’s Historic Westside.

In support of her $1 billion public-private Affordable Housing Initiative, Mayor Bottoms, with the Westside Future Fund, announced that 51 new and soon-to-be renovated housing units will be available to legacy renters, particularly those who are most at-risk and currently underserved in the market - such as senior citizens on fixed-incomes and full-time low wage earners.

The new housing unit will be located on property recently purchased for redevelopment by the Westside Future Fund as part of its anti-displacement efforts and its work to create quality, affordable housing.

Key objectives of the initiative include:

  • creation of a comprehensive inventory of affordable rental stock
  • support of not-for-profit developers dedicated to affordability and anti-displacement, like Westside Future Fund
  • enforcement of rental quality standards and
  • promotion of the rights of renters throughout the city

Westside Future Fund’s focus on legacy resident retention — a centerpiece of its revitalization strategy targeting the four historic neighborhoods of Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, English Avenue and Vine City — not only involves championing the development of quality affordable housing for renters and homeowners, but also purchasing properties for renovations and new construction.

This Brawley Street property is Westside Future Fund’s first multi-family real estate purchase.

According to the Westside Future Fund, of the 6,300 current Historic Westside households, 90 percent are renters. Of that number, more than 70 percent earn on average less than $15,000 annually and often occupy notoriously sub-standard housing.

All 51 units will be in English Avenue, one of the neighborhoods in greatest need of high-quality, affordable options. The single-family properties will be eligible for WFF”s renter-to-homeowner program.