FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News gets real about the affordable housing crisis and the impact on minority communities.
A local real estate developer and investor, Booker T. Washington, is on a mission to help people find housing solutions, particularly in the south metro. Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston says Washington is doing it with “micro homes.”
From a napkin, to land in South Fulton County — Washington and his team turned his dream into reality with the South Park Cottages in College Park.
Washington is from Atlanta and grew up in the community. He asked himself how he could be a developer and entrepreneur in a different way.
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“Being a native of Southwest Atlanta and growing up in this community, I had a bit of a crisis of conscience,” said Washington. “I said, well I want to continue to be a real estate developer and entrepreneur, and yes the goal is to make a profit, but can I do it a different way?”
His development of the micro homes is the “different way.” The one- and two-bedroom micro homes are between 350 and 600 square feet. There are 29 units and they all sold out within two months of their launch at a price point between $200,000 to $230,000.
Alexia Gosier, 25, who works as a teacher, said she was shocked by the dramatic jump in average home prices, but decided it was the best thing to go from renting to buying.
“This was affordable to me and the price point that I could afford on just my teaching salary,” said Gosier.
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With micro homes, owners can save on mortgage payments and utilities, and since they take up less space, they pay lower property taxes as well.
Washington said such homes are a solid option for first-time home buyers, people looking to downsize, and people pushed out of their neighborhoods by gentrification.
“Homeownership, in particular for minorities in Atlanta, has continued to drop. We have to be able to find some mechanism, especially for those who are fresh out of college, those who are downsizing, those who are empty-nesters, they need options,” said Washington.
Washington is also trying to provide more housing options for the south metro.
“South Park Cottages is the first black and minority-built micro community in the United States. We’re proud of that,” said Washington.
The South Park Cottages are currently under construction.
Next up is a community union city. Washington said he has his sights set on the heart of Atlanta.
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