Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta President and CEO Frank Fernandez have announced a groundbreaking initiative to provide affordable quality housing for all residents of Atlanta. The initiative is a result of a $200 million investment in public and philanthropic resources, which represents an unprecedented opportunity to build and preserve affordable housing in the city.
Mayor Dickens is working with the Atlanta City Council to pass a new affordable housing bond, which will create an additional $100 million in funding. The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has received a generous $100 million commitment from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, providing dollars to further leverage the proposed public funding. The Community Foundation will partner with the City of Atlanta and others to ensure deeper, long-term affordability for communities with a higher risk for displacement.
“Affordable housing has been central in my Administration, and today’s announcement is a game-changer in our ability to have projects keep pace with a rapidly evolving market,” said Mayor Dickens. “Thank you to the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation for their generosity, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for their steadfast partnership and the Atlanta City Council in advance for their collaboration on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide affordability relief for Atlantans.”
The potential funding source will authorize an additional $100 million housing bond, which will expedite the development of affordable housing on publicly-owned land, preserve affordability where it already exists with infusions of subsidy to provide safe, dignified, and high-quality communities, and secure additional funding needed to get shovel-ready projects under construction.
Community Foundation President and CEO Frank Fernandez commented, “In every city, the trends have been moving in the wrong direction for entirely too long and too many people are struggling,” Fernandez said. “But we have a window of time, particularly in the next three years, to change the trajectory in Atlanta. That is why we are moving with urgency to bring together all our partners, to have all hands on deck, and make a lasting change in housing. Our goal is to support better housing policies, programs, and significantly more production and preservation of affordable housing, so we can have neighborhoods and a city reflective of our values.”
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s funds will go to support both low-cost loans and grants for deeper and longer terms of affordability to address the growing housing challenges in the community. Mayor Andre Dickens is focused on building A City of Opportunity for All, which includes ensuring that all Atlantans have access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. That’s why he has pledged to build or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing.
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta inspires and leads the Atlanta region toward equity and shared prosperity for all who call it home. The Foundation’s strategic ethos, TogetherATL, works through a collaborative approach with community stakeholders, donors, nonprofits, and others to examine complex challenges the region faces and create solutions that build a thriving region. The Community Foundation shepherds approximately $1.4 billion in current assets through its 1,000+ donor funds, while simultaneously raising and deploying more than $120 million annually to thousands of nonprofit organizations.
The initiative to provide affordable quality housing for all who call Atlanta home is an important step towards creating a more equitable and just society. By investing in affordable housing, the city is ensuring that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, which is a basic human right. The partnership between the City of Atlanta and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is a testament to the power of collaboration and a shared commitment to creating a better future for all residents of Atlanta.