The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Monday to allocate $11.6 million of the city’s affordable housing trust fund for eviction diversion efforts and to create affordable housing units.
The resolution includes focusing on units reserved for residents meeting or below 50 percent of the area median income.
The package includes a donation to local nonprofit Star-C to launch and distribute $2,000,000 in eviction prevention funding and financial assistance for low-income households at risk of displacement.
The legislation also urges public agencies such as Invest Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine, Atlanta Housing, Fulton County Development Authority, MARTA, and any others who provide subsidies to affordable housing developments to ensure owners and managers participate in an eviction diversion program for 30 days prior to filing an eviction; disclose all fees associated with a lease prior to the application; and accept all documented forms of assistance, including but not limited to vouchers, rental assistance, and Social Security.
“Building affordable housing is just one part in creating long-term housing stability and preserving the diversity of legacy residents in Atlanta,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “An additional part is to develop stronger programs and policies that prioritize tenants and their experiences to build a healthy housing ecosystem where all of our residents can thrive, regardless of income level.”
The eviction prevention initiative will prioritize aid for three demographics across the city, identified as being especially vulnerable to housing instability: residents over the age of 65, single-parent households with children in Atlanta Public Schools, and household composed of renters under the age of 25, expanding the scope of the city’s initial funding of $500,000 for an eviction defense pilot through Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation in selected city areas at high risk of eviction.
The city council also passed a resolution to allocate funding in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to three priority areas: affordable housing production, housing assistance programs, and $2 million in eviction prevention that makes the new eviction prevention program possible.
The eviction prevention program will be implemented in coordination with the relaunched rental and legal assistance program from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which includes $27 million in state Emergency Rental Assistance administered by Atlanta Legal Aid.
Resolutions were also introduced on behalf of the Dickens Administration to donate $200,000 to Open Doors to support identifying safe and stable affordable housing for low-income Atlanta households, and a donation of $150,000 to the Atlanta Land Trust for the delivery of 21 permanently affordable townhomes.