Forum Presenters Announced: The Role of Housing Authorities in Addressing Metro Atlanta’s Housing Crisis
Born out President Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal program in 1937, public housing authorities have played a critical role in housing low-income families across the country. Atlanta blazed the trail in public housing, opening the first government-owned housing project in 1936 – Techwood Homes. Starting before the 1996 Olympics under the leadership of Renee Glover, by 2011 Atlanta’s large-scale public housing communities were either demolished or replaced with attractive mixed-income communities. Leveraging Federal Hope VI funding, the City was first in the nation to demolish its public housing properties. Some 83 years after the opening of Techwood Homes, the importance of housing authorities in the entire metro region cannot be overstated, as the need extends far beyond the City limits. The Brookings Institution’s Suburbanization of Poverty suggests that more than 80 percent of the region’s poor live in the suburbs, underscoring the importance of all housing authorities in the metro.
Join us at the March 7 Atlanta Regional Housing Forum as we talk with housing authorities from around the region. Why has housing authority development activity dropped in the last decade? Atlanta Housing has some 400 undeveloped acres of land. How do they plan to activate these spaces and create new housing opportunities? How are housing authorities in Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties leveraging their assets? How can collaboration and innovation help housing authorities serve more low-income families? What are the barriers to increasing housing authority development activity?
Housing authorities are also responsible for executing rental assistance voucher programs. Recent trends suggest that voucher holders are having a difficult time finding homes and apartments, encountering landlords that all too often will not accept their vouchers. HUD representatives in Atlanta and beyond have held listening tours with properties owners to learn why acceptance of voucher programs has decreased. What did they learn in these discussions and what changes, if any, are forthcoming?
Our presenters from housing authorities around the region include:
Lejla Prljaca, Lawrenceville Housing Authority
Brandon Riddick-Seals, Atlanta Housing
Pete Waldrep, Marrietta Housing Authority
Pete Walker, Housing Authority of DeKalb County
In addition to our conversation with housing authority representatives, Sarah Kirsch of ULI Atlanta will share the latest updates and action needed from the HouseATL initiative. Lastly, we will ask Bambi Hayes Brown of Georgia ACT what state legislative policies are needed or are barriers to creating housing affordability and stability.
Details and Registration at www.AtlantaRegionalHousingForum.org