ATLANTA — Sean Keenan of the Atlanta Civic Circle interviewed Atlanta City councilor and mayor candidate, Andre Dickens. In the interview, Dickens expressed his intention to continue mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ goals in the One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action plan, as it gives a robust basis for future housing initiatives.
It is no doubt that the next mayor is going to face a thousand issues. Aside from pandemic recovery and education, housing issues are the first issues the government should overcome, as urban planning experts say.
Dickens sees housing affordability as a gateway to fix a lot of social and economic issues in Atlanta. He believes that a neighborhood is a focus of society’s health, stability, and educational outcomes, which is why a fair and equitable community is an important goal.
He stated that housing affordability is a “Day 1 issue” for a city councilman and will be even more of a “Day 1 issue” as a mayor.
While the city is fighting COVID-19, Atlanta still has to deal with its long-term nemesis, the affordable housing issue. He believes that ensuring a citizen’s personal safety by producing more affordable housing will be the highlight of his upcoming agenda.
Andre commented that mayor Bottom’s $1 billion One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action plan would not only remain as “a plan”.
“I will want to carry through a number [of elements] of the plan. But where I think it fell short is on some of the implementation ... I’m not going to just leave it as a plan and check in on folks every six months or so ... I’m going to be very daily in the face of Atlanta Housing, very much in the face of our planning department and our Office of Housing, and very much at Invest Atlanta and the Beltline and all institutions around us,” said Dickens.
The complete Q&A is available in audio format on Atlanta mayoral candidate Andre Dickens talks housing affordability by Atlanta Civic Circle.