Community Development Issues Raised at Atlanta City Council Candidate Forums

By Titus Falodun Staff Writer | 10/25/2013, 9:53 a.m.
Foreclosures impact every level of the housing market, from high-rise condos to low-income housing.
AHAND and The Atlanta Voice presented its Candidate Forum on Community Development series, held at Morehouse College and Georgia State University, on Oct. 12 and 19.

Despite the efforts of CDCs, which are not-for-profit organizations outfitted to provide services for community members to better afford living, as well as other activities, residents are dealing with lowered wages as the cost of living skyrockets.

“The fact that we need CDCs to develop our neighborhoods is a sad state of affairs,” District 5 City Council candidate John Michalik said.

Per affordable housing data, an individual earning $10 an hour and working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, earns $20,000. In order for that individual to keep his or her rent no more than 30 percent of total income (the national limit), he or she would have $500 rent payment.

Quality rental housing at that threshold is almost unattainable. In addition, higher rent just limits the individual’s ability to deal with other expenses.

“I’m not running to represent you; I’m running so that you can represent yourself,” District 5 City Council Candidate Jonathan Jones said to the audience, as he explained his idea of “direct democracy” (i.e. constant and informed community input in legislation) as a way of bringing the affordable housing issue to the forefront.

The forums brought clarity to underlined community development issues in Atlanta and what the candidates intend to do to make the metropolitan area better.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

For more information on the forum and the candidates, visit: