Atlanta Regional Housing

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December 7, 2016
Our topic: Exclusionary Practices and Displacement

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
435 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Unfortunately, Metro Atlanta has a historical legacy of exclusionary zoning and building code practices as well as unintentional displacement of citizens across many local governments. Occasionally, these activities are intentional, creating unnecessary barriers to families, senior citizens, students, disabled veterans and workers from living close to services and jobs. This mismatch of services and housing availability causes not only individual harm but also worsens traffic congestion by further spreading available housing from job centers and other important locations.

In some cases, local governments have received federal grants or created special tax districts to purchase problematic apartment developments. Excessive concentration of affordable housing in disinvested areas is problematic and can become a burden on the families residing in the areas. Local governments have a public interest to address the problems of unsafe or unhealthy housing, typically handled through code enforcement.

In other cases, it appears that local governments create zoning restrictions and building code requirements to limit or stop the construction of apartments or homes at prices affordable to large segments of society. The purported basis for these restrictions is the claim that higher student enrollment burdens education costs or that the property taxes from such residences do not adequately cover the costs of required local services. The results are unfair restrictions that burden families, seniors, students and the disabled community.

The solution to these issues is better local and regional planning for residential construction. Local governments must return to a better understanding of the existing homes and apartments in the jurisdiction, to zoning entitlements that are already approved, and to the needs in the future for more residential units. The market in metro Atlanta and most major U.S. cities is very dynamic. The most vulnerable citizens will continue be harmed by the unintended consequences of government policies that are under researched and possibly drive by prejudice.

 

AGENDA

Welcome – Bill Bolling, Foodwell Alliance

Opening Presentation: ATL Displacement & Gentrification | Slides

Panel Presentation:

Lisa Cupid, Commissioner, Cobb County
Darlene Duke, Sweetwater Mission
Allison Johnson, Housing Justice League

11:45 – Adjourn

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