Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took a $60 million step this week toward her goal of producing and preserving $1 billion worth of affordable housing in Atlanta, which has once again earned the dubious title of having the worst income inequality among U.S. cities.
The Atlanta Housing Board of Commissioners this week okayed the use of the funding, which, officials say, could create and protect more than 2,000 new affordable units.
Since her campaign for the 2017 mayoral election, Bottoms’s ultimate hope has been to produce and preserve 20,000 affordable housing units before 2026—an effort that could take two four-year mayoral terms to accomplish.
The $60 million investment puts her administration at 20 percent of its funding goal, according to a city announcement.
Most of the cash will go toward the creation and renovation of affordable apartments, and some will help low-income Atlantans repair deteriorating houses.
The money will also be used to produce multifamily infill developments of less than 100 units and some single-family units. “This is a prime example of what can happen when government, the private sector, and our nonprofit partners join together for the common good,” said Bottoms, per a release.
However, it’s not exactly appropriate to call the funding new money.
The $60 million is actually part of funds the federal government gives to the Atlanta Housing Authority each year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The announcement also comes around the same time that Gregory Johnson, the leader of Cincinnati’s housing agency who was tapped to helm Atlanta Housing Authority, decided he would keep his job in Ohio, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
And in January, Invest Atlanta approved millions of dollars to help finance three new affordable housing projects in underserved neighborhoods south and west of downtown.