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Work Session Scheduled on Sale of Surplus Land to Build Affordable Housing

Post Date:09/27/2017

News Release

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. SW
Atlanta, GA  30303 

CONTACT:
Dexter M. Chambers
Council Communications Director
dchambers@atlantaga.gov - Email
(404) 330-6309-Direct / (404) 392-0159-Cell 

September 27, 2017

Work Session Scheduled on Sale of Surplus Land to Build Affordable Housing

ATLANTA – The Atlanta City Council will hold a work session Thursday on proposed ordinance 17-O-1463 (Sale of Surplus Land for Affordable Housing) at 10 a.m. in City Council Chamber, Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Avenue, S.W.  

The legislation is sponsored by City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Keisha Lance Bottoms, C.T. Martin, Carla Smith, Kwanza Hall, Andre Dickens, Ivory Lee Young, Jr., Mary Norwood and Alex Wan.

It is currently before the Council’s Community Development and Human Services Committee for further discussion.

According to the legislation:

The City of Atlanta continues to experience an acute and growing affordable housing shortage that is causing great concern to many of the city’s residents.

The City of Atlanta has in recent years made aggressive moves to dispose of surplus city properties. According to the most recent inventory, the city still possesses over 1,400 parcels, and while it is estimated that one-third of these parcels are parks or serve other public purposes, there are several hundred remaining parcels that may not be serving a public purpose and may potentially be considered for future disposition.

Cities and counties across the country, including King County, Washington; Escambia County, Florida; and Washington, D.C., have adopted policies to use surplus properties to develop affordable housing where feasible.

The City of Atlanta recognizes that one of the greatest challenges in developing affordable housing, especially for extremely low-income families, is the land acquisition cost.

The City of Atlanta hopes that by removing land acquisition costs for housing developers, they will produce affordable units for extremely low-income families.

Under the proposed legislation, any city-owned property that is deemed surplus and feasible for use as affordable housing shall be sold for one dollar to a Pre-Qualified Nonprofit Developer, a nonprofit developer, or a for-profit housing developer for the purpose of developing new affordable housing units or rehabilitating existing affordable housing units. The units should be affordable for extremely low-income families and shall remain affordable for at least 30 years. 

If approved, the City of Atlanta’s Office of Housing would have 30 days to review the list of proposed properties to determine those feasible for use as affordable housing. To meet the requirements, the properties must have (1) a large enough and appropriate shape for the development of one or more housing units; (2) utilities such as water, gas, and electricity available to one or more new housing units at the site; and (3) current zoning or land use designation of the parcel that allows for residential uses.

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