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ATLANTA (Nov. 15, 2023) — The Urban Land Institute’s Atlanta District Council today released a housing study examining affordability in Atlanta’s five core counties: Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton and Gwinnett. The study, an update to the 2018 Affordable Atlanta report, revealed these counties have grown by 9%, but the number of affordable cost-burdened households outpaced household growth by 15% since 2018. The cost to subsidize the need in these counties is $270 million per month. According to ULI, there is currently no ZIP code in the core counties where someone earning 80% or less than the area median income (AMI) can purchase a home at the median income price. View the 2023 study HERE.
“The results from our latest housing study are distressing,” said Daphne Bond-Godfrey, Executive Director of ULI Atlanta. “The City of Atlanta has made great strides with public and private leadership through the creation of HouseATL, the passage of the City’s housing opportunity bond, and unprecedented investments from philanthropy. However, the need for continued action strategies and regional champions for the issue remains. Housing affordability is an issue that affects all communities.”
The study, conducted by KB Advisory Group, defines the current problems in the affordability crisis as rents and home prices growing faster than incomes, cost burden persisting across the five counties, transportation remaining a significant cost and inequity inhibiting housing choices. According to ULI, to tackle these issues, stakeholders across public, nonprofit, philanthropic and private sectors need to work together to take necessary actions for progress. These actions include increasing the housing supply, subsidizing affordable demand and investing in regional leadership and resources.
“The five core counties span 55 municipalities, meaning there are many different officials making zoning and land use decisions,” said Geoff Koski, President of KB Advisory Group. “This leads to the ‘missing middle’ being consistently left out due to community resistance and nonuniform legislation. While there is no magic bullet to solve the affordable housing crisis, zoning and regulatory reform can lead the way to an equitable path of homeownership.”
ULI’s housing study was first commissioned in 2017 and released in 2018 to understand the depth and scale of the affordable housing issue across the Atlanta region. The study sought to define the problem in both market and financial terms that appealed to practitioners and developers. The 2023 updated analysis highlights the current challenges the region faces in providing housing appropriately affordable for all Atlanta regional households. The Affordable Housing Working Group within ULI Atlanta’s Livable Communities Council (LCC) that oversaw this study included Ade Sanusi, Amanda Rhein, Natallie Keiser, Sharon Gay, Marc Pollack, David Allman, John O’Callaghan and Geoff Koski and was supported by ULI Atlanta staff.
The group engaged the broader ecosystem of housing experts, key stakeholders and ULI members in a series of highly curated discussions to ensure practitioner realities and current market conditions grounded the research assumptions made in the study. These roundtable discussions included conversations on inclusionary zoning and understanding the capital stack.
“Atlanta is and will continue to be a great place to live, but it needs to be attainable for everyone,” said Sharon Gay, Senior Counsel at Dentons and long-time ULI member. “It’s imperative that all sectors, from non-profit to public, work together to create an effective housing ecosystem that will uphold the stability of Atlanta’s economy and quality of life. A wider range of strategies, such as additional funding and greater regulatory flexibility, is needed to combat housing insecurity for all households and help the region thrive.”
For the full 2023 housing study, please visit THIS LINK.