$100 million to go to affordable housing effort in Atlanta neighborhood

ATLANTA, Ga. — Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens joined city leaders and a formerly homeless Atlantan to announce a new, potentially $200 million, effort to create affordable housing in the Georgia capital.

Standing alongside city leaders and Mayor Dickens was Tonette Freeman. She and her husband had been homeless for close to 20 years before getting a chance to live in a unit at Academy Loft Apartments.

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Unfortunately, Freeman’s husband died before they could move in. Now, she lives in a loft apartment paid for with affordable housing funds.

Dickens said when he took office, he promised to stay committed to building and preserving 20,000 affordable housing units in Atlanta by 2030. The investment announced Tuesday was described as possibly the largest single investment in affordable housing in city history.

“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,” Dickens said in a statement.

In addition to the $100 million coming from the Woodruff and Whitehead Foundations, the Atlanta City Council will vote on whether to provide an extra $100 million for the effort, paid with municipal bonds. The money put toward this initiative will be used to either build new affordable housing units, or preserve existing public housing units, such as the Academy Lofts.


“A lot of these will be a combination thereof,” Dickens said. “Some will be 20% affordable, some will be 50% affordable. If they’re seniors, housing could be 100% affordable.”

For Freeman, getting off the streets and living at the Academy Lofts was life-changing.

“Just keep praying and asking for help,” Freeman said. “Help is out there.”

According to information from the City of Atlanta, the potential funds will authorize an additional $100 million housing bond to support the following initiatives:

  • 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
  • Secure additional funding needed to get shovel-ready projects under construction

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