One solution to gridlock traffic? More housing options.
That’s according to Livable Buckhead — a group leading a study to increase housing opportunities in the area.
According to the group, 98 percent of the Buckhead’s workforce commutes from outside the area every day.
“We’ve got all this retail, all of these hotels and service industry and jobs,” said Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling. “Those are not as high up level paying jobs. And then our residential opportunities here are so high end. That there’s a complete mismatch.”
Now, her group is leading an effort to solve the problem, working with the Buckhead Community Improvement District and a steering committee of approximately 30 stakeholders to create actionable strategies for diversifying housing options. Other representatives include MARTA and the Atlanta Land Trust.
The Buckhead effort is funded by a Livable Centers Initiative grant through the Atlanta Regional Commission with local matching funds provided by BCID.
“We’re not looking for a silver bullet,” said Jim Durrett, executive director of BCID. “No single strategy will solve Buckhead’s housing challenges, but we’re confident that we can pursue multiple approaches that increase opportunities for people who work here to live here as well.”
A variety of housing studies have quantified the mismatch between Buckhead’s housing options and what is affordable for its workforce.
According to a housing market analysis developed by Bleakely & Associates as part of the BUCKHEAD REdeFINED master plan, approximately 20 percent (13,500) of employees working in Buckhead can afford monthly rent of no more than $1,500 per month. However, there are only 3,500 apartment units in the Buckhead core with rents at that price point.
Work on the study began in August and is anticipated to take approximately six months to complete.