Proposed affordable housing web portal for metro Atlanta passes important hurdle
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Finding an affordable place to live in Atlanta isn’t easy, but now a simple solution could make a world of difference for a lot of families. A city council member wants to launch a new website that lists all the options.
Councilmember Michael Julian Bond says it’s an exciting time to call Atlanta home.
“Atlanta is named one of the best places to live in America,” said Bond. “The international real estate community says Atlanta is the place to go and invest. So, all eyes are in Atlanta.”
The real estate market has exploded in the last five years, illustrated by the city’s skyline. But Bond says a byproduct of that growth is a lack of affordable housing.
“We need to make sure that we’re keeping Atlanta affordable for everybody,” said Bond.
While new units continue to be built to reach the mayor’s goal of 20,000 over the next seven years, Councilman Bond says finding affordable housing now needs to be less daunting. He wants the city to create a website, modeled after a similar initiative in Boston, that lists rentals for a variety of income levels; senior, veteran, and even section eight.
“Many people spend an inordinate amount of time looking for places that will accept that voucher. I personally through my office helped an individual for over a year try to find a place to stay and his voucher expired, and he had to have it renewed,” said Bond.
The nonprofit Partners for Home is tasked with counting the city’s unhoused population. This week volunteers are canvassing the city documenting individuals in need. Executive Director Cathryn Vassell says affordable housing needs to be integrated into every neighborhood in the city.
“We need neighbors and neighborhoods and communities to be more open and receptive to the development of affordable housing for all people at all income levels,” said Vassell.
Bond admits his website isn’t the entire solution, but now that the measure passed the committee unanimously, he’s confident it’ll get the green light by a full council vote early next month.
“This isn’t a silver bullet that’s going to solve everybody’s housing problem. We want to provide as many tools as possible,” said Bond.
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