City announces new $50M housing program to get homeless into apartments

ATLANTA — A new city of Atlanta program will provide $50 million to help the homeless get off the streets and into new apartments.

David Pratt says he’s been in and out of the Bell Street overpass, a place now home to dozens of homeless people.

“I think it would be nice for people to get nice housing for the people in Atlanta because they really need it,” Pratt said.

He told Channel 2's Richard Elliot people don't want shelters but individual homes to call their own.

“They want their own house. They don’t want to be their own program. They don’t want to be told what to do. That’s got a lot to do with why people are out here,” Pratt said.


Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the city’s HomeFirst Initiative raised $50 million to help get homeless people into 550 apartment-like units.

Columbia Residential’s James Grauley showed Elliot how they’re using that money to rehab the old Capitol View Apartments on Metropolitan Parkway.

Grauley said the money will also be used to provide needed services and rental assistance to make sure the homeless get to stay.

“Providing housing and housing in mixed communities in neighborhoods for people that are coming out of homelessness or coming out of disabilities is a real important goal for the city and for us, as well,” Grauley said.

Leonard Adams, of Quest Properties, is also using the HomeFirst Initiative money.

He told Elliot that building homes for those in need can help get people back on their feet.

“It means everything. It means the world. It’s a stable place for individuals, families to be able not to worry about where their next evening is going to be spent,” Adams said.

Bottoms told Elliot the city's numbers show about 3,700 homeless people living on Atlanta’s streets -- about half, she says, of what it was 10 years ago.