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Affordable housing in Atlanta arrives with 'Mechanicsville Cityside'

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The “scattered site development” includes an array of new and renovated homes with affordable rents, officials say

Affordable housing in Atlanta is a hot topic these days, with two board members recently resigning from the Atlanta Beltline over concerns stemming from the issue.

But now, just south of downtown and west of Turner Field, affordable workforce housing has arrived in Mechanicsville. Maybe it won't cure all ills, but the initiative is a start.

According to a press release by the City of Atlanta, Mechanicsville Cityside will offer affordable homes to more than 70 low-income families. The scheme allows families to rent the homes for 15 years, with the option to buy after that time has passed.

Rather than concentrating the housing in a single place, Cityside is a "scattered site development," creating more diverse neighborhoods, officials said.

In total, 66 new homes are planned on abandoned sites, while another eight existing homes will be renovated.

With seven homes complete, the project still has a long way to go, but officials are optimistic a partnership between the city, state, and private developers will prove a model for the future.