Atlanta — Nov 08, 2019
The Atlanta Regional Commission today announced the launch of the Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy, a regional, collaborative approach designed as a guide to help local governments and communities better understand and address their housing challenges.
The Atlanta region faces a number of housing issues that threaten its long-term economic competitiveness and quality of life.
Supply is not keeping up with demand, housing costs are rising much faster than wages, and the number of existing affordable homes is rapidly declining. The average rent in metro Atlanta has increased by 35% from 2011-2017, while wages are up just 15%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Zillow.
The Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy, housed at MetroATLHousing.org, and provides detailed information and data about the region’s housing market and offers a set of actionable steps that local communities can consider taking to address their housing issues.
“Our goal is to enable communities to share tactics and lessons with one another, to help foster a more balanced mix of housing options, reflective of each community’s specific housing needs,” ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker said today at the agency’s State of the Region breakfast.
“Low housing costs are what attracted many of us to move here, and it helped to fuel our tremendous growth. Yet today, about one-third of our region’s households are cost burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing.”
The Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy identifies six overarching strategies – levers that must be turned in order to bring about meaningful change. These strategies are:
- Increase housing supply to promote affordability by providing the necessary tools for developers to contribute to the supply of both market-rate and affordable housing units.
- Preserve supply of affordable housing units to ensure that they remain accessible to low- to moderate-income households.
- Reduce housing and transportation costs by increasing housing options near job centers and advancing mobility options throughout the region.
- Expand capital resources by providing financial incentives and mechanisms to foster the creation and preservation of affordable housing units.
- Promote housing stability to ensure that residents can remain in their homes and communities.
- Develop leadership and collaboration on housing to promote and enable education, communication, and collaboration around housing issues.
The strategy was developed through extensive outreach with a broad audience of local government officials, business and nonprofit leaders, and other regional partners, utilizing a framework developed by Atlanta’s Urban Land Institute in its report, Affordable Atlanta.
The effort incorporated additional perspectives when the need for “healthy housing” was identified as a regional priority in CATLYST, ARC’s Regional Economic Competitiveness plan.
“The Metro Atlanta Housing Strategy is not prescriptive but is meant to be a guide – a tool to help local governments learn about their housing issues and explore ways of addressing them,” said Sam Shenbaga, Manager of ARC’s Community Development Group. “If we don’t act, our region’s economic competitiveness may be threatened and our quality of life diminished.”
Housing issues are a concern in the region, according to results from the 2019 Metro Atlanta Speaks survey, also released today by ARC. According to the survey:
- Nearly half (46%) of metro Atlanta residents said that if they had to move today, they could not afford to stay in their communities
- More than half of respondents (57%) said older homes in their communities are being replaced by new, more expensive housing.
- And two-thirds (68%) live in areas experiencing “property flipping,” in which homes are remodeled to be sold or rented at higher prices.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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