Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the “Atlanta City Design: Housing” initiative, a project administered by the City’s Department of City Planning that has been created to propose policy-based solutions to Atlanta’s housing affordability challenges and aligns with the goals and action items of the Mayor’s One Atlanta Housing Affordability action plan.

Since 2010, Atlanta has increased in population every year totaling more than 84,000 new residents. The city currently has a population of just over 500,000, but as the region is expected to grow by nearly 3 million over the next several decades, the City of Atlanta’s population should grow to 1.2 million. “Atlanta City Design: Housing” addresses the impact of significant population growth on the city’s housing market.

“The Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative builds on our Administration’s One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan, addressing systemic racism and working to ensure affordable housing for all,” Bottoms said. “For too long, housing policies have excluded those who are most vulnerable, particularly communities of color. We are taking bold actions to reverse these policies and close the homeownership gap and rental affordability for legacy residents of Atlanta.”

The proposals in the Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative are a result of more than two years of research and analysis aimed to specifically implement key elements related to the impact of land-use and zoning in the Mayor’s action plan. Further, the research and analysis of the Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative stem from The Atlanta City Design: Aspiring to the Beloved Community, a guiding document produced by City Planning to provide perspective to all the plans, policies, and investments the city will implement.

“Our city is growing, and we can leverage that growth to be a better city that is more equitable, inclusive, and accessible to live in,” said Tim Keane, the City of Atlanta’s commissioner of City Planning. “Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative outlines ways this growth can be designed specifically for Atlanta’s landscape, distinctive physical characteristics and unique neighborhoods.”

The proposed zoning policies in the analysis also target structures of racism and discrimination that have limited housing affordability and exacerbated inequality in Atlanta. The resulting policies seek to increase immediate and long-term affordability for Atlanta residents and directly address the structures of discrimination that still exist in Atlanta’s zoning and land-use policies.

“Atlanta is facing rapidly rising housing costs in large part due to the exclusionary policies of the past that still exist and are impacting the city today,” explained Joshua Humphries, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development in City Planning.

(Photo: Creative Commons / Atlantacitizen)

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