The newly opened Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail (Photo by Asep Mawardi)

The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved legislation on Monday that will require developers building new residential rental units near the BeltLine or Westside District to set aside 10 percent of those units as affordable housing.

The legislation means developers must earmark units at 60 percent or below Area Median Income (AMI) or 15 percent of those units for households at 80 percent AMI or below.

Councilmember Andre Dickens spent three years researching and preparing the legislation.

“This legislation will allow for city employees, teachers, police, nurses, retail workers, firefighters, for example to live around the Beltline and Westside where they can benefit from the public investment the city has made in those areas,” Dickens said.

Even before this inclusionary zoning policy was introduced, Dickens used this research to rally colleagues for the successful implementation efforts of the Housing Opportunity Bond, Development Authorities’ Affordable Housing requirements, Atlanta Public Schools’ Affordable Housing Requirements, Owner Occupied Rehabilitation for seniors on the BeltLine, and Affordable Housing Impact Statements.

“Today’s Inclusionary Zoning policy ensures that people aren’t left out as new developments go up around the Beltline and Westside, but it’s important to note that there’s still lots more work to do in order to solve our all of our affordability problems,” Dickens said.

The new policy will go into effect on all developments seeking a permit 60 days from now.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.