Community Foundation and FCS invest in affordable housing in South Atlanta
By Mark Crosswell, managing director, social impact strategy, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Since its launch in 2018, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s impact investment fund, the GoATL Fund (GoATL), has invested $6.25 million to advance impact in affordable housing, education and small business development. The fund’s latest investment closed recently, a $500,000 loan to Focused Community Strategies (FCS) to finance the acquisition and rehabilitation of blighted single-family homes located in and around the Historic South Atlanta neighborhood. The homes will be transitioned to affordable and workforce housing, enabling people to live near where they work while creating a stable living arrangement for their families.
FCS works to build thriving communities from the ground up through innovative and collaborative development. This work results in the best of both worlds, rehabilitating homes, removing rundown homes, starting small businesses and engaging neighborhood residents to strengthen inclusive communities. In one neighborhood alone, FCS has boosted home ownership from 10 percent to more than 50 percent in the last 20 years.
FCS maintains a hyper-local focus, partnering with neighborhoods and working hand-in-hand with residents, business and local partners to build communities where residents can prosper. In South Atlanta, in addition to rehabilitating homes, FCS has launched several businesses that employ residents, serve as community gathering spots and provide youth and adult job training programs. The local impact they have shown aligns with the GoATL Fund’s aim to invest in programs that prioritize measurable social outcomes as well as a financial return.
In its first 18 months, the GoATL Fund’s investments supported 320 multi-family and 25 single-family affordable housing units, 15 small business owners, an early childhood center, a new K-8 school and a performing arts facility for youth, all of which serve low income communities. GoATL investments provide low-cost, flexible loans to nonprofits and social enterprises, enhancing the Community Foundation’s support services and grantmaking to the metro Atlanta community.
GoATL was the first impact investing fund of its kind in Georgia and is part of an estimated $12 trillion global landscape for innovative, social impact funding. To learn more about the GoATL Fund, visit our website.