A controversial plan to build 42 apartments for people experiencing homelessness in Reynoldstown is advancing, despite pushback from neighborhood leaders. Construction could kick off as soon as December, the developer told Atlanta Civic Circle this week.
But Stryant Investments’ 111 Moreland Avenue project, which will replace an old, vacant single-family home where the bustling thoroughfare intersects Kirkwood Avenue, has undergone a few tweaks since community members first voiced their disapproval, according to Joshua Humphries, Mayor Andre Dickens’ chief housing advisor.
To address the Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League’s concerns that the 42-unit apartment building would be too dense for the 0.38-acre site, the city of Atlanta worked with Stryant to increase the number of kitchens and the amount of communal space, “to make the project better for residents,” Humphries said in an interview. (Future residents will rent rooms with kitchenettes, while sharing full kitchens, laundry facilities, and communal spaces.)
But reducing the unit count, as the neighborhood group recommended, was fiscally just not in the cards, he added: “In order for the project to be financially viable and to keep all the funding sources intact, it had to keep the unit count at 42.”
Stryant co-founder Stan Sugarman said the affordable housing development will rely on construction loans and grants from the city’s economic development agency, Invest Atlanta; its homeless services provider, Partners For Home; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Federal Home Loan Banks.
Residents will benefit from government-backed rent vouchers provided by the city’s housing authority, Atlanta Housing. That means the 42 intended tenants will only have to pay up to 30% of their monthly income—or nothing, if they don’t make any money. Units will be earmarked for people earning no more than 30% of the area median income—or about $20,250.
Sugarman said he expects Stryant to close on the project’s financing in the next couple of months. After demolishing the dilapidated home on the property, the developer could break ground by the end of the year.
“We are excited to be neighbors in Reynoldstown,” he told Atlanta Civic Circle.
Partners For Home will hand-pick residents for the 111 Moreland apartments and provide them with supportive services, according to the nonprofit’s executive director, Cathryn Vassell.
“We are excited to be moving forward with this development, creating brand new, high quality, deeply affordable, safe, and dignified housing for our neighbors in need,” she said.
Humphries, the mayor’s advisor, said that adding 42 deeply affordable units at the currently vacant site is a win for metro housing affordability—but that there’s still plenty of work to do to meet unhoused and lower-income Atlantans’ needs.
“The city is growing rapidly, and we are not building enough housing total—and we don’t have nearly enough affordable housing,” he said. “So 42 units is not going to solve the problem overnight, but we need a lot of projects throughout the city that thoughtfully add affordable and market-rate housing, so we can address this crisis-level need.”