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Atlanta’s public housing authority anticipates producing up to 958 new affordable homes in the 2023 fiscal year, which starts July 1, according to projections the agency approved last week.
Atlanta Housing’s (AH) board of commissioners signed off on its latest Moving to Work plan, which now goes to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for approval. The HUD-funded Moving to Work program allows public housing authorities to craft local strategies aimed at increasing housing and employment for low-income families.
AH laid out a roadmap for FY 2023 to help extract the city from its mounting housing affordability crisis. According to AH’s projections, nine projects in partnership with private developers are slated to close, yielding 531 new units. New HomeFlex deals, which incentivize private developers to set aside residences for affordable housing, will produce another 156 units. The other 271 units will be realized through AH’s down-payment assistance program.
Meanwhile, AH aims to advance the construction of up to 1,123 new affordable units, while rehabilitating 372 existing affordable units, according to the plan.
But there is some overlap in those figures, AH spokesperson Jeff Dickerson told Atlanta Civic Circle on Tuesday. Though AH is projecting to have 1,123 units in some phase of construction in its next fiscal year, not all will be ready for occupancy by June 30, 2023, he explained. Overall, AH is projecting that it will produce and preserve nearly 2,700 affordable housing units for FY 2023, about the same amount as it forecast for the current year.
AH is on target to meet the current year’s housing projection, Dickerson said. As of Dec. 31, AH had created or preserved 1,241 affordable units — about 46% of its target just before the year’s midway point.
But even though AH is on track to hit its annual affordable housing target, the housing authority has a waitlist of nearly 25,000 people seeking Section 8 rent vouchers in a city that’s become prohibitively expensive for hourly workers, teachers, firefighters and other low- to middle-income people.
AH closed the waitlist to new applicants in 2017 and does not anticipate reopening it during the upcoming fiscal year or FY 2024, according to the latest Moving to Work plan.