Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Residents Call Out Beltline's Affordable Housing Failures

The Atlanta Beltline, which oversees the development of a 22-mile loop through the city, says that it hopes to raise $7.5 million to encourage affordable housing development. But the recent announcement of $7.5 million from TAD bonds will likely support fewer than 200 affordable units out of ABI’s obligation to 5,600. When compared to the need, current funding is a drop in the bucket. As the economy comes back to life, and the city accelerates, meeting these obligations is increasingly urgent. It is clear the city of Atlanta has made little effort to hold Beltline developers accountable.

On Thursday, Nov. 3rd at 4 pm, the Housing Justice League held the Beltline accountable. We organized a protest outside the Equitable Building on 100 Peachtree Street, home to the Atlanta Beltline Office, drawing public attention and criticism to Beltline President Paul Morris. The protest began with Housing Justice League organizer, and Stanton Oak tenant association president, Sherise Brown delivering a notification flyer to Paul Morris’s office. The flyer called attention to the lack of affordable housing on the Atlanta Beltline, and committed to hold Paul Morris and the entire Beltline Corporation accountable to their promise of 5,600 affordable units. Over the course of the next half-an-hour, protestors marched around the Building, registering their discontent with Paul Morris and the Beltline Corporation. Many of the protestors included university faculty, who were part of a Georgia State University-based conference on the housing crisis in Atlanta.

The Housing Justice League is committed to keeping pressure on Paul Morris and his partner developers to build affordable housing on the Beltline. Up to this point, Beltline developers have built exclusively luxury housing units, creating a period of unbridled wealth extraction from communities that have only recently begun strong economic development. It is unacceptable for the Beltline to develop without accountability, and without profiting its surrounding neighborhoods. We demand that the Beltline be a project that benefits not just some, but all.

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