How low-income renters and homebuyers were hurt by Atlanta’s expanding economy

Atlanta is a region of the United States with strong economic growth and a growing population.

According to Georgia State University professor of urban studies Dan Immergluck, the population has spread out into environmentally damaging suburbs.

The BeltLine and other public-private partnerships that encourage dense construction have raised housing costs for those with average incomes.

Housing affordability is being protected by community organizations.

Metro Atlanta is having a great run.

The area is now home to more than 6 million people, according to recent Census Bureau estimates. According to experts, this represents a 50% increase from 20 years ago.

Dan Immergluck, a professor of urban studies at Georgia State University, said, “It’s a huge increase in population.” That has put a strain on the environment in the area.

Tech and financial companies are still moving to metro Atlanta. The city’s robust logistics, entertainment and film, and health services sectors are strengthened by this.

There is a growing shortage of high-quality housing in the area, especially in the city center.

According to Nathaniel Smith, founder and chief equity officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity, “Atlanta is becoming a wider city.” Now, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to balance that out and make sure that, you know, black people don’t get pushed out.

According to Zillow’s Home Values Index, the median house in Atlanta was worth about $400,000 in September 2022. With an average household income of $64,179 per year in recent years in the city of Atlanta, that price would be out of reach. Also slightly rising above the national median are rents.

Some Atlantans think that large-scale urban redevelopment initiatives like the BeltLine are to blame for the city’s rapidly increasing housing costs.

The BeltLine is a 22-mile loop of walking and cycling trails that was created through a public-private partnership and is largely constructed on former rail lines.

It was intended to link the city’s various neighborhoods together and to develop walkable communities along the route so that locals could access a range of services without having to use a car.

According to Clyde Higgs, CEO of Atlanta BeltLine Inc., “We’ve invested about $700 million in the BeltLine so far.” “What we’ve observed is that the BeltLine has attracted about $8 billion in private investment. There have been both positive effects and pressures on Atlanta as a result of that.

Numerous community leaders are starting initiatives to maintain housing affordability as the area changes.

According to Amanda Rhein, executive director of the Atlanta Land Trust, “property values continue to increase in close proximity to the project, so it would have been great if we had an opportunity to secure more land earlier in the life of the BeltLine.”