Atlanta BeltLine Inc., in partnership with Invest Atlanta, has closed on $1.17 million in grant funding to support the Atlanta Land Trust and its partner Intown Builders, LLC. in the development of 29 permanently affordable townhomes for home buyers in a new development in historic Oakland City.
The Avenue at Oakland City community offers a unique approach to homeownership in the city through a community land trust model that ensures properties remain affordable in perpetuity. The project delivers 36 two-and three-bedroom townhomes, 13 of which are offered to buyers earning up to 80 percent AMI and 16 at 100 percent AMI, for a total of 29 permanently affordable units. Prices will start at $186,000 and some buyers will qualify for down payment assistance.
“We’re proud of our work with Atlanta Land Trust to create these special homes that will change the future for 29 families by building generational wealth,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Clyde Higgs in a statement. “Through this model, we extend an equitable way for people to buy and own their homes in neighborhoods that offer access to jobs and Atlanta’s best amenities.”
Located a short walk away from the Oakland City MARTA station, the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail, and Lee + White, the development is situated near Murphy Crossing, a 20-acre BeltLine owned future mixed use and mixed income development. Nearby, 1055 Arden Ave. is another affordable workforce housing community currently under construction in Atlanta’s Capitol View neighborhood. The Avenue at Oakland City will be built in two phases, with the first move-ins expected at the end of 2023.
The project advances the BeltLine’s goal to assist in the creation or preservation of 5,600 affordable housing units within the BeltLine Tax Allocation District (TAD) by 2030. To date, the BeltLine is 56% of the way toward this goal, having assisted in the creation or preservation of more than 3,100 affordable places to live in the TAD. The BeltLine’s housing progress can be tracked in this housing dashboard. Many of the properties shown on this dashboard were provided with grants for affordable housing through the BeltLine TAD Increment Fund or the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund, both of which are managed by Invest Atlanta.
The groundbreaking for The Avenue at Oakland City took place in late 2022 following a years-long, collaborative effort led by the Atlanta Land Trust in partnership with the Oakland City Community Organization to envision the development concept. In addition to ABI’s grant funds, the more than $12 million project is funded through home sales and philanthropic support.
“Grant funding is critical to creating affordable housing” said Atlanta Land Trust Executive Director Amanda Rhein. “Public investments, like TAD funding, give us leverage to attract philanthropic dollars, which are essential to making homeownership accessible in Atlanta. Through the community land trust model, these homes will remain affordable in perpetuity, benefitting generations of families over time and creating pathways to economic mobility today and in the future.”
The community land trust model was born out of the Civil Rights movement in Albany, Georgia, and originally designed to establish a new form of land tenure for Black farmers and their families seeking community empowerment and economic solidarity. As one of more than 250 community land trusts in the United States, Atlanta Land Trust offers permanently affordable housing opportunities, allowing families to realize a portion of the equity built through homeownership while preserving the affordability of homes for future generations. ALT sells homes at affordable prices while retaining ownership of the underlying land, then enters into long-term, renewable ground leases. Homeowners agree to sell their homes at affordable prices to qualified homebuyers, thus ensuring the sustainability of the model.
The community-driven project has had numerous supporters that have donated to the capital campaign, including the Fulton County Development Authority through a new program aimed at affordable housing. Lenders for the project include the Atlanta Affordable Housing Fund and Tandem Bank.
The BeltLine works closely with multiple partners to achieve affordable housing goals and provides capital to development projects through the Atlanta BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the BeltLine TAD Excess Increment fund, both of which are administered by Invest Atlanta.
“Every day at Invest Atlanta, we are driven to take actions that make the greatest impact in ensuring better economic and social outcomes for all Atlantans – and one of those avenues is through affordable housing as outlined in Mayor Dickens’ 12-Point Economic Growth Strategy,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “We are proud to be a partner with Atlanta Beltline and Atlanta Land Trust in providing solutions that produce permanent affordability and economic mobility through home ownership.”