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Much-needed affordable rentals bound for fast-evolving Reynoldstown

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More than 100 units of affordable housing are in the works in Reynoldstown, an east Atlanta neighborhood that’s been welcoming little more than luxury development in recent years. 

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Housing (AH) board of commissioners elected to extend the ground lease for a city-owned property at 890 Memorial Drive, paving the way for the public housing agency to close on the site. 

Neighboring the Beltline’s ever-bustling Eastside Trail, “Madison Reynoldstown” will be a 116-unit apartment complex packed with homes priced for households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) — and no market-rate units — as well as 2,700 square feet of ground-level retail and commercial space.

Twenty-four of those units will be priced for households making 30 percent of the AMI, 68 will be dedicated for those earning 60 percent of the AMI and the other 24 units will be earmarked for families earning 80 percent of the AMI. 

To put that in perspective, a typical four-person household making 30 percent of the AMI brings in about $25,000 annually, whereas the same size family making 80 percent of the AMI would earn about $66,000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

AH hopes to market these homes to people like teachers and first responders. “A rookie firefighter with the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department earns $40,000,” according to AH materials. “A first-year Atlanta Public Schools teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree earns $48,086,” meaning these kinds of developments are crucial to keeping the city’s essential workers in town. 

The nearly $38 million project, which is being developed by the partnership of AH and REA Ventures, will be supported by public and private financing, including a National Housing Trust Fund award, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, and a grant from the Beltline Affordable Housing Trust Fund, among other sources.

AH officials have not yet announced a timeline for the project’s construction, although they said that information is forthcoming.

(Header image, via Atlanta Housing: A rendering of Madison Reynoldstown, an affordable housing complex planned for Memorial Drive.)

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