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Atlanta Housing’s (AH) real estate committee on Wednesday voted in favor of funding a controversial plan to build 42 micro-apartments on Moreland Avenue in Reynoldstown for people experiencing homelessness. Next week, the housing authority’s board of commissioners is expected to approve the proposal.
If the AH board green-lights the resolution—which is likely to pass with other items on its April 26 consent agenda—the housing authority would spend $9.1 million over 15 years to pay rent for 42 tenants as they transition from homelessness. Partners For Home, the homeless outreach nonprofit for the city of Atlanta, would refer its clients for residency at the complex and provide caseworkers to link them to supportive services.
The unanimous 5-0 vote in favor of the plan marks a big win for developer Stryant Investments, which has faced fierce pushback from some Reynoldstown neighbors who claimed the project was too dense for the 0.38-acre site at 111 Moreland Ave. Critics said it would be unsafe to squeeze so many tenants so close together along the busy roadway.
The Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League voted 79-16 against the project in March, although the city’s economic development arm, Invest Atlanta, had already agreed to provide Stryant with a $1 million construction loan. The housing authority is under no obligation to follow the neighborhood group’s lead.
Only two people submitted comments about the Moreland Avenue proposal ahead of the April 19 meeting: Alison Grady, of pro-density advocacy group Abundant Housing Atlanta, and urbanist Darin Givens, of the nonprofit ThreadATL. Both urged the AH committee to vote for the rent subsidy, which Stryant executives have said is needed to realize the project.
“This is the kind of project Atlanta needs more of to address the city’s urgent housing shortage and affordability crisis,” Grady said in a statement read by AH’s deputy general counsel, Lisa Washington.
Givens added that Stryant is planning “a good project that will put supportive housing in a location that makes good sense, and within walking distance to MARTA rail and bus service.”
AH commissioner Sarah Kirsch, the real estate committee chair, said during the meeting that she recognizes that the Moreland Avenue project is polarizing: “Emotions run high with projects like this, and our job as a board is to try to be objective, while recognizing the need for these particular units.”
Rents at the proposed complex will run about $1,015 monthly, including utilities, for a furnished studio that’s under 300 square feet, with shared full kitchens, laundry room, and a communal lounge. It’s expected to be move-in-ready in 2025.
Stryant co-founder Stan Sugarman said in an interview after the vote that tenants will be eligible for residency if they earn 30% or less of the area median income—or $20,250 annually. People will be required to pay no more than 30% of their monthly take-home pay on rent, and AH will cover the rest. AH will cover rent for people with no income.
A bold step in the right direction for housing affordability
Information on how to get help with a 64 year old homeless male
Hi me and my family are currently homeless living in a hotel in the Marietta Cobb of Marietta Atlanta area and we were trying to figure out how to get involved with this program we have been resident so Cobb county pretty much all our lives never really lived in Atlanta because we never knew how to get the resources and order to make that move to move to Atlanta and I would really love to see the beautiful city that I was born in like the way y’all are making it so if you could please give us some information
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