Invest Atlanta has closed on the new round of Housing Opportunity Bonds providing $32 million for critical affordable and workforce housing development initiatives, including homeowner renovations, multifamily loans, single family loans, nonprofit development loans, and land assemblage.
Back in March, both the Atlanta City Council and the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors unanimously approved the issuance of the bonds.
“This is tremendous step forward in securing affordable housing for the residents of Atlanta,” said Councilmember Julian Bond, who introduced the legislation authorizing the bond issuance, when the legislation passed.
“Housing is about people,” added Councilmember Andre Dickens, a former member of the Invest Atlanta board. “This bond is an important tool to develop equitable and inclusionary housing options for our residents and promote development without displacement.”
The Housing Opportunity Bonds represent a key part of a larger housing strategy the City of Atlanta adopted in 2015, and the $32 million in HOB funds will be allocated to be used for Multifamily Loans ($10 million): Loans will be provided to nonprofit and for profit multifamily developers offering affordable rental workforce housing units; Single Family Loans ($10 million): Loans will be used for construction financing ($2 million), down payment assistance ($3 million, and owner occupied rehabilitation ($5 million); Non-Profit Development Loans ($4.5 million): Funds will be set aside for eligible nonprofit developers for multifamily and single family affordable housing development. Land Assemblage ($7.5 million): Funds to be used by non-profit and for-profit developers, as well as City Agencies, to acquire land and vacant property for affordable housing development.
The City Council first established the Housing Opportunity Bond Program in 2007. With the funding raised from this bond issuance, Invest Atlanta produced over 2,200 affordable housing units, leveraging over $260 million in capital investment.
The lessons learned and feedback received over the course of the past decade informed how the funding raised from this year’s effort will be invested. For example, stakeholders emphasized the need for more funds for owner-occupied rehabilitation efforts to ensure more residents could stay in their homes.
“We are very excited and very happy this is coming to fruition,” said Alan Ferguson, Invest Atlanta’s Vice President and Deputy Director of Community Development. “These allocations are based on the current market, as well as input from various groups: elected officials, neighborhood residents, community leaders, non-profits, and developers.”
In April and May, Invest Atlanta and the City of Atlanta’s Office of Housing and Community Development hosted two Housing Opportunity Bond events at the Georgia Hill Neighborhood Center. Close to 200 interested affordable housing developers and advocates gathered together to participate in work sessions in which they delivered feedback and comment regarding the Housing Opportunity Bond Program guidelines.
Other notable attendees included Councilmembers Julian Bond, Andre Dickens, Cleta Winslow, as well as Planning Commissioner Tim Keane, Planning Deputy Commissioner Terri Lee, and Invest Atlanta Board Member Bill Bozarth.