COMMUNITY BUILDING BEGINS WITH GOOD HOUSING POLICY
In Atlanta, a number of promising housing and community development initiatives offer rewarding engagement opportunities. Here is an overview of those efforts and links to the organizations spearheading them:
The longest running community forum on the topic--almost four decades--is the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, which meets quarterly and is free and open to the public. House ATL is a broad-based coalition under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and led by executive director Natallie Kaiser, ANDP is the largest and most influential nonprofit, developing affordable housing and promoting sound policies in the field.
Bruce has penned several op-eds in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and most recently in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
"Atlanta can and must correct longstanding housing deficiencies", editorial in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, June 2020
"How Can we build more affordable housing", editorial in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 19, 2023
The need for affordable housing in Atlanta is so great that the private sector must be enlisted in the effort. One such mechanism are Inclusionary Zoning measures that mandate the inclusion of a certain percentage (10-15%) of all housing in new developments as affordable. The BeltLine is impacted by one such ordinance. Invest Atlanta is the primary housing finance agency for the city and created an affordable housing strategy for it.
Equitable transit-oriented development
The most direct way to make housing affordable to families of lesser means is to have it be accessible to transit, thereby obviating the need for a car. The savings to the household budget are substantial; the streets are less congested; and the air less polluted.
Walkability and good urban planning
Affordable housing is a key ingredient in walkable and connected communities, a development form that depends on density and a multiplicity of uses to create livable communities, such as the city of Decatur, the burgeoning Memorial Drive corridor, and other great places. Check your own neighborhood's "walk score". The region's primary planning agency, the Atlanta Regional Commission, has devoted more resources toward affordable housing solutions.