Dixie Hills, one of Atlanta’s historic Black neighborhoods, doesn’t get much residential investment these days. The same could be said for media attention, but on a warm Monday morning more people were on the lawn of the house at 1825 Oakmont Drive than there probably has been in a long time.
CareSource recently announced a $2.5 million investment geared towards helping renters secure and/or maintain places to live. The investment made it possible for the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) to acquire and rehabilitate 75 single-family homes across Metro Atlanta. The multi-million-dollar investment is the company’s largest to date.
The first round of funding helped support ANDP’s acquisition of 11 homes throughout southwest and Northwest Atlanta, according to data provided by the company. All of the homes are currently occupied by renters with the exception of the one at 1825 Oakmont Drive which was open for a tour. The new floors and fresh paint visible examples of the improvements ANDP puts into the homes they company has purchased.
The advantage for ANDP is the lost-cost of the homes that are in neighborhoods that can be described as economically challenged. The stretch of Oakmont Drive where the house was being shown had numerous homes with broken fences and cracked driveways. The street was barely big enough for two cars to simultaneously drive north and south on.
The advantage for the renters is better odds that the home that they are renting won’t go up in monthly rent because of the ANDP model and mission. The average rent for an apartment in Atlanta is $1,861, according to apartment information website Rentcafe.com.
Depending on the neighborhood -the website lists the average apartment rent around Atlantic Station at $2,395 and Piedmont Park at $2,394, for example- the average rents are much higher. Renting single-family homes generally command higher rents than apartments, particularly in areas like Dixie Hills which do not generally have apartment buildings.
A large crowd of invited members of the media and neighborhood residents were assemble shoulder to shoulder to hear City of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and executives from ANDP and CareSource, a Dayton, Ohio-based pubic health care programs provider, talk about the property at 1825 Oakmont Drive and the investment from CareSource. “It’s a great day and a great partnership,” said Dickens of the investment.
“By 2025 we will develop 2,000 units of affordable housing throughout Metro Atlanta,” said ANDP Senior Vice President for Strategic Housing Investments Ashani Collins O’Mard.
The company is halfway to its goal with 1,116 affordable units to date, according to Director of Communications George Burgan.
“This is about creating healthy communities at the end of the day,” said O’Mard.
The property at 1825 Oakmont Drive was previously being rented by a family and was now vacant for the time being. An interior paint job and maintenance of household appliances was all it took in order to prepare the home for new renters. The goal is to provide a clean and affordable place to live for renters, said CareSource Market President Jason Bearden. “We want to maintain and improve where people live,” he said.
CareSource has plans to invest in affordable housing in rural Georgia as well. “This has been a long mission for CareSource,” said Vice President of Market Operations Sheryl-Anne Murray.