Mayor Dickens cuts ribbon on affordable housing community

New $14 million development features 56 units in Peoplestown
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens at an opening ceremony for Stanton Park Apartments on Feb. 27, 2024

Credit: Matt Reynolds

Credit: Matt Reynolds

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens at an opening ceremony for Stanton Park Apartments on Feb. 27, 2024

Atlanta City Mayor Andre Dickens unveiled a new apartment building with dozens of affordable housing units on Tuesday, part of his wider goal to ease the city’s housing shortage.

In the morning, Dickens cut a ribbon outside the entrance to the 56-unit apartment building called Stanton Park Apartments in the Peoplestown neighborhood, south of downtown Atlanta.

During an opening ceremony, he noted the building’s proximity to the Southside Beltline Trail and the building’s amenities, which include a community room and fitness center.

“A city as diverse as Atlanta and as progressive as ours needs diverse and practical housing options ... that enhance Atlanta’s communities as well as improve the quality of life for all of our residents,” Dickens said. “Our hope for a brighter future for Atlanta is baked in with affordability.”

The building on Hank Aaron Drive features 36 one-bedroom units and 20 two-bedroom units, according to Woda Cooper Companies, one of the developers. The units are 650 square feet and 885 square feet, respectively.

Each of the homes comes with energy-efficient appliances.

The city’s economic development authority Invest Atlanta partnered on the project with Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Atlanta Housing, housing advocacy group Partners for HOME, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, commercial real estate agency Walker & Dunlop, and real estate company Sugar Creek Capital.

Co-developers are Woda Cooper Companies and Parallel Housing.

According to a Woda Cooper Companies news release, Invest Atlanta provided almost $1 million as a permanent loan. Urban Residential Finance Authority, Invest Atlanta’s housing finance group, granted the project a $6.5 million tax-exempt bond.

The development was mostly financed through federal and state low-income housing tax credits which the Georgia Department of Community Affairs allocated, according to Woda Cooper.

The $14.2 million development is limited to residents who earn between 30% to 80% of the Area Median Income, or AMI. Rents for a one-bedroom are between $413 to $925, and $805 to $1080 for a two-bedroom, based on income.

In addition, ten units are reserved for people who have experienced homelessness, the release states.

In prepared remarks, Terri M. Lee, president and CEO of Atlanta Housing, said those residents would receive project-based voucher rental assistance. She said the housing authority would invest about $138,000 each year in the community.

“In addition, residents will receive life-enhancing wrap-around supportive services through Fulton County Behavioral Health,” she said.

Dickens said the project was part of his goal to create or revive 20,000 affordable housing units by 2030.

By some estimates, income is not keeping up with rents and home prices in Atlanta.

Since 2017, average home prices have increased 73% across the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, and Clayton, according to the news release, squeezing individuals and families and preventing them from getting into affordable housing.

According to the City of Atlanta Affordable Housing Tracker, the city has delivered more than 4,000 affordable housing units and broken ground on more than 5,000 since the beginning of 2022.

Dickens said he hopes to provide 500 unsheltered people with housing by 2025.

“I’m proud that [this development] serves our neighbors that are in need and those that are facing chronic homelessness,” Dickens said.