More housing funds coming, but needs continue nagging

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Fulton County is getting $2.4 million extra in federal funds to improve housing, but it won’t be distributed for nearly a year — and a new report shows the additional funding is a drop in the bucket when compared to the need.

“Overwhelmingly, one of the biggest unmet housing and services needs of all qualifying populations is the lack of affordable housing,” says the report from the county’s Community Development department, based on information from agencies serving the local population.

“Affordable housing” is usually defined as costing less than 30% of a household’s gross income. Southern portions of Fulton County have many places in which rent takes up more than that, the report says. The same is true to some extent in north Fulton, but average incomes are higher there.

Although there are more than 80,000 rental units in Fulton County, fewer than 5% count as “affordable” to those with very low income, even though those low-income households make up 19% of the county’s population, the report says.

Here is how the county plans to spend the additional funding:

• $1 million on affordable rental housing.

• $500,000 to develop homeless shelters.

• $365,000 for rental assistance.

• $300,000 for support services.

The final 10% will go for administration and planning.