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Invest Atlanta approves $2.4M to beef up Westside anti-displacement initiative

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Residents can apply for up to $60,000 in forgivable loans for home repairs

The city’s economic development agency just took what officials call a crucial step toward retaining some of Westside Atlanta’s long-planted residents.

Invest Atlanta’s board of directors, during its monthly meeting, voted in favor of a $2.4 million grant to bolster the Westside Heritage Owner-Occupied Rehab (OOR) initiative, a project created to help protect low-income Atlantans from displacement, according to the agency’s website.

The money will come from the Westside Tax Allocation District’s (TAD) community improvement fund, and will provide residents loans for needed home repairs. It could end up helping nearly 20 percent of the area’s homeowners, leaders believe.

This investment follows the successful launch of the program, which just helped eight area homeowners repair busted-up roofs, pipes, electrical installations, and other necessary, unglamorous facets of houses.

“We feel like we’re in a good position to scale up,” said Jennifer Fine, Invest Atlanta’s Vice President of Planning and Strategic Initiatives, according to the site.

The money will allow residents of Vine City, English Avenue, and some parts of Castleberry Hill to apply for up to $60,000 in forgivable loans for household fixes.

That means loan recipients would be forgiven for some or all of the loans in exchange for essentially fixing up the area.

Invest Atlanta is now looking through roughly 500 applications from people vying to take advantage of the city’s community retention efforts.