Atlanta, GA

Peoplestown project puts Beltline halfway to affordable housing goal, but more units needed

Developers, investors, and city leaders break ground on a new affordable housing project in Peoplestown.Sean Keenan, Atlanta Civic Circle

City leaders, developers, and investors broke ground on 250 affordable housing units in Peoplestown on Tuesday, marking the halfway point for Atlanta Beltline Inc.’s mission to produce 5,600 affordable homes around the multi-use trail — which is now widely regarded as an engine of gentrification — by 2030.

The Skyline Apartments, located at 1090 Hank Aaron Drive — just south of Georgia State University’s stadium (formerly Turner Field) and the rest of fast-evolving Summerhill — will be affordable for households earning 60% or less than the area median income, according to the Beltline, which contributed $2 million, along with additional state and local funding. 

Future residents will have access to transit, because the complex borders the Beltline’s Southside Trail at the endpoint for a planned MARTA bus rapid transit line. 

“250 [affordable] units is nothing to sneeze at, and I’m glad we’re doing this,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens told Atlanta Civic Circle at the groundbreaking — but he said the pace is too slow.

The Skyline Apartments’ construction pushes Atlanta Beltline Inc., which oversees the trail’s development, to 53%, or about 2,970 units, of its goal to produce 5,600-unit affordable homes within the Beltline Tax Allocation District (TAD),  up from only 785 affordable units five years ago. At that rate, it needs to produce 330 units annually to hit the 2030 target.

“The hope was to be beyond halfway by this point,” Dickens said, adding that 5,600 affordable units for the Beltline TAD is a “low goal, in my opinion, as someone who wants to hit 20,000 units.” Dickens campaigned on producing 20,000 affordable housing units citywide by 2030.

“But at the end of the day, we’ve got to keep adding them up as we get them,” the mayor said.

Atlanta Civic Circle.

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