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Beltline CEO: 5,600 affordable housing units won’t cut it; we want 10,000

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The newish leader of the transit-trail project wants to fulfill a seemingly forsaken promise

Progress on the Beltline’s Eastside Trail extension earlier this month.
The Eastside Trail’s latest stretch, under construction in 2017.
Curbed Atlanta

When it comes to Atlanta’s affordable housing pinch, has the driver of change that is the Beltline project been aiming to low?

Beltline CEO Brian McGowan basically said as much this week.

Installed as the Beltline’s leader in September, McGowan believes the project needs to better take into account—and exceed—the affordable housing promises pitched years ago, according to WABE.

The Beltline’s masterplan outlined ambitions to plop down or earmark about 5,600 residential units for affordable housing alongside or near the trail to-come.

McGowan, who stepped into the post when Paul Morris left amid concerns of undelivered affordability promises, said 5,600 is but a stepping stone; he and his team would like to see some 10,000 affordable units dotting the planned 22-mile loop, per his talk with the radio outlet.

This bolstered initiative will require Beltline officials to rework legislation pertaining to adjacent and neighboring developments.

In years past, the Beltline was only counting affordable units built by its own devices and those built by the city’s economic development agency, Invest Atlanta, WABE reported.

Now, however, project leaders want to also take into account cheap spaces built by public organizations, such as the Atlanta Housing Authority and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Using that math, the Beltline’s affordable housing stock would be in the neighborhood of 1,600—a big jump from the current 900-unit tally.

This story was updated on June 6 at 1:23 p.m. to correct the 2,600-unit figure to say that 1,600 affordable housing units have been created. A Beltline spokesperson also clarified that the Atlanta City Council will not need to approve the ambitions voiced by McGowan.