Atlanta’s Mayor Hitches Her Legacy to an Ambitious Housing Affordability Plan
U.S. News & World Report’s Trevor Bach details Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom’s ambitious housing plan.
ATLANTA IS BOOMING. Between 2010 and 2019, the sprawling Southern metropolis added more than 700,000 residents, the fourth-most among American metro areas, with area government officials projecting millions more newcomers in the coming decades.
But ‒ in a story familiar to many large American cities ‒ the explosive growth has also exacerbated a local affordable housing shortage. In early December, after a year in which COVID-19 pummeled the region’s lower income workforce and the police killing of Rayshard Brooks renewed local racial tension, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms unveiled a comprehensive new proposal aimed at tackling both the burgeoning housing crisis and long festering inequality: a series of zoning reforms that increase urban density and “directly address the structures of discrimination that still exist in Atlanta’s zoning and land-use policies.” A few days later, the mayor followed up with an executive order that invests $50 million in new bond funding for affordable housing.
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