Truist, the Charlotte-based banking giant and namesake of the Atlanta Braves home field, sent representatives to the south side of Atlanta to help announce a financial investment in what Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens often refers to as one of the pillars of his administration: affordable housing. Truist will invest $15 million with $14 million earmarked for the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta’s GoATL Affordable Housing Fund. $1 million will go towards an economic inclusion fund that will support small businesses by helping to launch them in the area. Southeast and Southwest Atlanta have oftentimes been the last parts of the city to receive financial investments of this size.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said, “We can lean on the public/private partnerships because it works.”
Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

The $15 million is the largest investment in the GoATL Affordable Housing Fund, which serves “critical community housing needs,” according to its website, since its launch in 2018.

“The first pillar of my moving Atlanta forward is that we have a city for all,” Dickens said of making affordable housing more of a reality and less of what it is at the moment, a mission and goal for so many that live in Atlanta. “This group project is really in full effect today.”

Dickens has made known his plan for creating 20,000 units of affordable housing by 2030. “When I say it’s a group project that means that all of us have to put in on it,” Dickens added about what is a collaboration between the city, big business and a not-for-profit, such as Focused Communities Strategies, which has an office McDonough Blvd., where the event was hosted.

Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers said of the investment, “Our purpose is to inspire and build better communities. Atlanta is a remarkable city and it needs to be a remarkable city for everyone.” Truist had previously invested $2 million in the Atlanta Affordable Housing Fund. Rogers said if that investment in affordable housing, “We like to invest in things that work.”

Saez added, We’re all part of the same community. This is where families live, where organizations are built and investments in these communities are very important.”

The mayor believes collaborations that involves private investors like Truist, while also involving the city can have an impact on how housing is built going forward. Not just in Atlanta, one of the fastest growing housing markets among major metropolitan cities in America, but around the country. “We can lean on the public/private partnership because it works,” he said.

“Affordable housing works when these two entities come together,” Jim Wehner, Focus Communities President said.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...