The Atlanta City Council approved legislation at its Monday meeting to amend the city charter and establish an annual fund for affordable housing initiatives.

The legislation directs two percent of the general fund toward affordable housing each fiscal year by creating the “Building the Beloved Community Affordable Housing Trust Fund.”

The process of setting aside two percent will be phased in over a three-year period at the beginning of each fiscal year to include one percent for Fiscal Year 2023, one and one-half percent for Fiscal Year 2024 and two percent for Fiscal Year 2025.

As a charter amendment, this legislation required two adoptions by the council. Monday’s vote was the final adoption. 

The council also approved a resolution calling for a referendum in Spring 2022 to renew the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales and Use Tax (TSPLOST) to address more than $3 billion in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.

If voters approve the renewal of the TSPLOST, the city will have an estimated $350 million over five years to invest in Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure, including funding for streets, sidewalks and bridges. 

Voters will also decide on a $400 million infrastructure bond to provide funding to replace and expand public safety facilities, recreation facilities, parks and greenspace, and the arts.  

Other items approved Monday include: 

• A resolution authorizing the City of Atlanta’s chief financial officer to identify the optimal funding source in an amount of $35 million or the amount necessary to complete construction of Phase II of the proposed Public Safety Training Center on Key Road to include such improvements as enhanced trails, public park spaces, a 911 call center, additional training facilities, and a fueling station. Despite public opposition, the council approved legislation authorizing a ground lease agreement with the Atlanta Police Foundation to build the public safety training campus on the city-owned Atlanta Prison Farm property.

 • 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 the bridge over Peachtree Creek on Cheshire Bridge Road damaged by a fire in August.

• A resolution authorizing the mayor or her designee to execute documents related to 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. The authority will commission the demolition of the existing facility and the construction of a new community learning center. 

• An ordinance to amend the City’s Code of Ordinances to extend the temporary on-street dining permit program until the end of 2022. In 2020, the council adopted legislation to establish regulations for establishments wishing to operate outdoor dining areas on the street in the public right-of-way to promote social distancing during the pandemic.

• An ordinance to amend the City’s Code of Ordinances to provide that if the mayor does not decide on a pending License Review Board case before Dec. 31 at the conclusion of the mayoral term, the recommendations of the board will become the decision of the mayor. Currently, after the finding of due cause, the mayor has the authority to deny, revoke or suspend licenses based on the board’s recommendation. However, there is currently no provision regarding what occurs when a due cause case is pending after a mayoral term ends. 

• An ordinance to amend the Fiscal Year 2022 Intergovernmental Grant Fund Budget to reprogram $945,899 of Housing Opportunities for Person with AIDS (HOPWA) funds allocated in the 2020 Annual Action Plan of the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan to the Africa Children’s Fund. The Africa’s Children’s Fund is a nonprofit based in Atlanta that provides rental, utility, and mortgage assistance to HIV/AIDS affected individuals and families at risk of homelessness. 

• A resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to support the City of Atlanta’s 2022 legislative package, which includes items on protecting city boundaries, transportation, affordability, voting rights, open meetings, and public safety.

 • A resolution expressing the City of Atlanta’s support for a partnership between the City of Atlanta and The Conservation Fund to preserve the over 75 acres of land which was the former site of the Chattahoochee Brick Company, and will work with the City and Lincoln Terminal Company, the current owner, to acquire and preserve this property as parkland, greenspace, recreation, and watershed acreage. 

 • A resolution clarifying that short-term rentals are permitted in all residential zones, which joins a companion bill passed in March that requires all short-term rental operators to apply for a license and be a responsible host to keep their license. 

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.