At its meeting Nov. 20, the Atlanta City Council unanimously approved legislation that will require developers building new residential rental units near the BeltLine or Westside District to set aside 10 percent of those units for households at 60 percent area median income (AMI) or below or 15 percent of those units for households at 80 percent AMI or below.

As a result of three years of research and policy development led by Post 3 at-large Councilman Andre Dickens focused on housing affordability, this policy demonstrates the commitment of the city of Atlanta to provide diversity in its housing stock for residents of all income levels around the BeltLine and Westside.  

“This legislation will allow for city employees, teachers, police, nurses, retail workers, firefighters, for example to live around the BeltLine and Westside where they can benefit from the public investment the city has made in those areas. I want to thank my colleagues on city council, the department of city planning (office of housing and office of zoning), department of law, department of finance, Invest Atlanta, the Atlanta Housing Authority, the BeltLine, the mayor’s office, affordable housing advocacy groups, private developers and the public for all of their effort over the past three years to make this legislation possible,” Dickens said in a news release.

Even before this inclusionary zoning policy was introduced, Dickens used this research to rally colleagues for the successful implementation efforts of the housing opportunity bond, development authorities’ affordable housing requirements, Atlanta Public Schools’ affordable housing requirements, owner-occupied rehabilitation for seniors on the BeltLine and affordable housing impact statements.

“Today’s inclusionary zoning policy ensures that people aren’t left out as new developments go up around the BeltLine and Westside, but it’s important to note that there’s still lots more work to do in order to solve our all of our affordability problems,” Dickens said.

Citywide, affordable housing is an issue that is important to Atlanta’s growth and that was shown by the favorable support for this policy at every Neighborhood Planning Unit. This policy will now go into effect on all developments seeking a permit 60 days from now.

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