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In A First, Atlanta To Require Affordable Housing On Westside And Around BeltLine

The City Council voted this week to apply the requirement, called inclusionary zoning, to neighborhoods near Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta BeltLine.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE
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Atlanta is trying out a new tool to keep neighborhoods affordable: zoning that requires developers to build lower cost units.

The City Council voted this week to apply the requirement, called inclusionary zoning, to neighborhoods near Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta BeltLine.

That means developers there now will have to dedicate a portion of their units to people making 60 to 80 percent of area median income.

Developers can choose between making 10 percent of units available to 60 percent area median income or 15 percent of units to 80 percent area median income.

Mayor Kasim Reed said Atlanta will be the first city in Georgia to attempt inclusionary zoning. Georgia law already prohibits rent control — that is, caps on how much landlords can raise rents.

“And so I think that I and my successor will have to see how the state responds to the effort to have inclusionary zoning,” Reed said.

This comes as Atlanta works on two other efforts for low-income renters.

Reed announced the sale of the Civic Center to the Atlanta Housing Authority Tuesday. The mixed-use redevelopment of the site will include 30 percent low-cost units.

The city is also partnering with business leaders to buy properties and keep their rents affordable. Reed said private donors have already committed 40 million dollars.