Adair Court is a new mixed-income senior housing development in Adair Park. (Photo courtesy Atlanta BeltLine/The Sintoses)

The Atlanta City Council took the first of two required votes at Monday’s meeting to amend the city charter to provide funding for affordable housing.

The legislation, which would create the “Building the Beloved Community Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” requires two adoptions since it amends the city’s charter.

The ordinance will direct two percent of the general fund for building and preserving affordable housing over a three-year period starting in 2022.  

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pledged to create or preserve 20,000 affordable by 2026, as well as investing $1 billion in public, private, and philanthropic sources in aid of that goal.

Last year, the council authorized a $100 million housing opportunity bond that will build or preserve 3,500 affordable housing units.

Other items approved Monday include the Child Savings Account Program legislation championed by Mayor Bottoms will support and serve Atlanta kindergartners from low-income households through a partnership with Atlanta Public Schools (APS). 

The program will provide qualifying kindergartners with a one-time deposit of $50 in a savings account reserved for expenses related to education. All recipients or their school must meet the program’s family income and equity-focused criteria. 

With approval of this resolution, the City will donate $2 million to local nonprofit organization, Operation HOPE to establish the program. Operation HOPE will work with a nationally reputable financial institution to establish the savings accounts.  

Also approved was the Mayors Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, which aims to serve 300 Atlanta residents who are at least 18 years old and live below 200% of the federal poverty line.

Participants will receive $500 per month in guaranteed income during the 12-month pilot period.  The resolution passed by the city council authorize the city to donate $2 million to the nonprofit Urban League of Greater Atlanta to launch the pilot program.

Urban League will also receive a donation of $500,000 from Mayors for a Guaranteed Income to support the program. 

Items introduced to be considered in committee include: 

•  A resolution authorizing the sale of the Centennial Parking Deck and the Philips surface lot by the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority and the construction of certain improvements to John A. White Park by Spring Street.

• An ordinance authorizing the chief financial officer to amend the Fiscal Year 2022 general fund budget in the amount of $6 million by transferring funds from the uncommitted fund balance to support the emergency demolition and reconstruction of Cheshire Bridge Road due to the natural gas fire. 

• A resolution to extend the District 3 Blight-free Advisory Board for a period of 12 months effective from Dec. 1, 2021 to Dec. 1, 2022. 

• An ordinance to waive certain provisions of Chapter 10 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances requiring certain restaurants or other licensed establishments to submit a statement regarding gross food sales from a certified public accountant during the alcohol license renewal process such that the statements will not be required during the 2022 renewal process. 

• A resolution recommending the Aviation General Manager, on behalf of the Department of Aviation, establish a temporary process to issue daily escort badges to concession employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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.