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Atlanta’s housing authority stopped building rental units for nearly a decade. Can it make up for lost time?
Atlanta used to be considered a national pioneer when it came to public housing. But for the past decade, affordable housing has become an afterthought as gentrification has crept into the city. How can the Atlanta Housing Authority make up for lost time?
It’s been more than three years since Google Fiber frenzy took hold of the Atlanta area. Google promised to change everything for folks fed up with unreliable internet connections, abysmal customer service, and expensive monthly bills. But a different reality took hold: Google ran wires, but didn't start service; Google tried to work with local governments, but couldn't work out deals; and ultimately Google couldn't find value in rolling out its service. One thing is indisputable: most Google Fiber hopefuls are now fed up.
In December, Raisha Williams moved her cookie operation to a new, shared commercial kitchen that will soon double as a market on the weekends. Its name, Marddy’s, is a mash-up of “market” and “buddy.” For Marddy’s owner Keitra Bates, this is not just an entrepreneurial upstart; it’s a hedge against gentrification.
While the overall metro area has remained affordable—in the third quarter of 2015, the $178,900 median sales price for a single-family home was lower than all but three of the nation’s 20 largest metros—the cost of housing in much of intown Atlanta has skyrocketed.
“It’s in our interest right now to turn to equity. If we address this now, we'll assure that we will become one of the leading cities in the world."
Some people flip through Architectural Digest or Dwell with dreams of classic mansions or custom homes filled with designer furnishings. My domestic fantasies run smaller: a daily scroll through Tiny House Blog and obsessive scrutiny of every small space featured on Apartment Therapy. Some people take pilgrimages to furniture showrooms in North Carolina. I like to wander through Ikea displays: “Living in 273 square feet!”