Metro Atlanta Residents Want Affordable Housing, Survey Shows
(APN) ATLANTA — An overwhelming majority of Metro Atlantans support more affordable housing, according to a recent survey of 501 Metro Atlanta residents conducted this year by Enterprise Community Partners and Make Room.
The survey results show support for the adoption of mandatory inclusionary zoning (IZ) policies.
On the issue of IZ, 71 percent favor requiring developers to set aside fifteen percent of new apartments and condominiums for lower-wage workers.
Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens (Post 3-at-large), who chairs the Council’s Community Development/Human Resources Committee, has said he intends to introduce an IZ ordinance in the near future.
The City of Atlanta has already made some progress on the issue of affordable housing, including by approving in May 2016 a new requirement for development authorities doing business in the City of Atlanta, to require a set aside of affordable units.
Also of note, the survey shows equal amount of public support for affordable housing to serve low-income families, or 84 percent, as compared to public support for housing to serve moderate income families.
The respondents were from Atlanta, Sandy Spring, and Roswell, Georgia, with income distributions from under 15,000 dollars per year, to 150,000 dollars per year.
The survey shows the alarming fear many people have of losing their home or apartment, with 43 percent of respondents saying they worry about being forced to move in the next twelve months because they can’t pay their rent or mortgage in Metro Atlanta.
One in four, or 27 percent, were either unable to pay their rent or mortgage; or had to cut spending on food and other necessities, in order to pay their rent or mortgage.
Meanwhile, 33 percent of respondents answered that they moved at least once in the past five years because their rent or mortgage payment was too high.
“One in four Georgia renters, or 359,000 households are paying more than fifty percent of their income toward housing cost,” Ali Solis, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and External Affairs with Make Room, told Atlanta Progressive News.
“When ranked nationally, compared to other states, that makes Georgia the 13th most rent burdened state in the country and that is an issue that needs solutions,” Solis said.
The poll shows that 76 percent of people agreed that more affordable rental homes should be developed for families in their communities.
“The polling results show that Metro Atlanta residents recognize the need to make room in their neighborhoods for homes that are affordable to all,” Angela Boyd, Managing Director of Make Room, said in a press release.
The poll shows that 79 percent favor increased efforts by elected representatives to support the creation of homes that are affordable to lower wage workers.
Additionally, 87 percent agreed that Atlanta’s leaders should work to create and preserve affordable homes for all.
57 percent of Atlanta residents polled favor a small fee or tax on real estate transactions to support the development of preservation affordable homes.