By Randy Southerland – Contributing Writer, ATL Business Chronicle
As hope for the revitalization of Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods rises, the city and a host of nonprofits are moving to ensure that longtime residents aren’t forced out through gentrification. Expanding the stock of affordable housing is at the top of the list.
“We want to create new affordable housing options for persons who are at 60 percent and 30 percent of the AMI,” said Leonard Adams, president of the Quest Community Development Organization, a nonprofit focused on affordable housing in Westside communities.
Those seeking to expand affordable housing on the Westside are in a race against time, as the city’s population grows and undeveloped areas like the Westside become more attractive to developers.
Over the past 17 years, Quest Community Development Organization has developed several small affordable housing communities totaling 269 units and building $22 million in assets. It now has a three-year plan to develop seven different projects in the Westside communities of Vine City, English Avenue and Grove Park, representing a $35.5 million investment.
Quest is also seeking to develop affordable housing for extremely low income residents including the homeless. These include more than 40 working women with families who are currently homeless and living in their cars.
“What I’m concerned about is that, with such economic and environmental catalysts coming to the Westside, it’s going to attract market investment that typically don’t see affordable housing as a primary goal when it comes to community development,”