AJC Politifact Rates APN Editor’s Housing Claim “TRUE”
(APN) ATLANTA — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper and Politifact have weighed in on the accuracy of a recent statement made by Matthew Charles Cardinale, the News Editor and CEO of Atlanta Progressive News, regarding the need for more affordable housing in Atlanta; and determined the assertion to be “TRUE.”
At issue was a statement in an op-ed that appeared in the Saporta Report, authored by APN’s Editor:
“Tens of thousands of Atlanta households are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their income towards rent… This includes more than 25,000 cost-burdened renter households subsisting on $20,000 or less per year.”
Saporta Report had run the op-ed on September 13, 2105.
AJC reporter April Hunt took an interest in whether this statement was true, and APN sent along supporting documentation including a link to a recent Housing Strategy report by HR&A, the City of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Development Authority (dba “Invest Atlanta”); along with data by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey (ACS).
The AJC did further research to determine that the statement regarding “tens of thousands” of families was actually a conservative estimate.
“We reached out to Cardinale to ask his source, and he pointed us to a 2015 update of last year’s Atlanta’s housing strategy report,” the AJC wrote.
“A chart on page 10 of the report, shows about 27,000 households that make $20,000 or less and another 13,000 households with incomes between $20,000 and $35,000 spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2012,” the AJC wrote.
“Cardinale would have been on target with an even more dramatic claim: More than a quarter of Atlanta households spent more than half of their incomes on housing,” the AJC wrote.
“For somewhere between $1,400 and $4,000 a month, you can rent in the luxury apartment complex Inman Quarter in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward… But you’ll also need to earn at least $48,000 – and up to $160,000 – a year to afford skyline views without spending more than 30 percent of your income on a (fancy) roof over your head,” the AJC wrote.
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau both consider those who pay more than that to be ‘cost burdened,’ since they may have difficulty paying for other necessities such as food and medical care,” the AJC noted.
“Housing advocates, including Atlanta Progressive News CEO Matthew Charles Cardinale, worry that those people are getting lost in the newly energized Atlanta housing market,” the AJC noted.
The newspaper also covered APN Editor’s proposal for Affordable Housing Impact Statements, which are currently pending before the Atlanta City Council.
“Cardinale said that shows the city’s own data back up his proposal, to require new developments list how much of their complexes will be at or below 30 percent of the city’s median income, as well as how many will fall between 30 and 50 percent, between 50 and 80 percent and more than 80 percent,” the AJC reported.
“It would basically be an affordable housing scorecard, not requiring projects to include affordable housing but to provide information on what’s being done,” the AJC quoted APN’s Editor as saying.
“The recommendation has been pending in a City Council committee since November,” the AJC noted.