Mayor Kasim Reed and the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution at its August 17, 2017, board meeting that will provide $26 million in additional funding for initiatives to eradicate homelessness in the City of Atlanta.
“This funding, in addition to the philanthropic support we have received, constitutes the largest investment in the homeless and homelessness in our city’s history,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “From homelessness to affordable housing, I am pleased that our city continues to apply its economic resources to critical areas of need, enabling us to build a more promising future for many of our residents.”
The $26 million in Homeless Opportunity Bond financing will leverage an additional $25 million in philanthropic support, for a $50 million total initiative to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in the City of Atlanta. The remaining $1 million will cover the costs of the transaction. Additional public and private dollars will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State of Georgia, Fulton County and the Atlanta Housing Authority. In total, this represents an investment of more than $115 million toward eradicating homelessness.
Since 2013, the City of Atlanta has reduced the number of homeless by about 52 percent, with a 61 percent decrease in the number of chronically homeless individuals. The number of veterans who are homeless has been reduced by 62 percent. To further reduce and ultimately eradicate homelessness, the City of Atlanta has established its own continuum-of-care (CoC) and Partners for Home, a non-profit that will oversee the CoC and leverage public and private dollars in funding.
The funding from Homeless Opportunity Bonds will support this strategy by funding nearly 600 units of permanent supportive housing and associated services for the homeless, as well as the acquisition and operation of shelters that will house nearly 250 new emergency, low-barrier shelter beds.
“The city has made great strides in working to reduce and eradicate homelessness here in Atlanta,” said Dawn Luke, Invest Atlanta’s senior vice president of Community Development. “And with this bond issuance, Invest Atlanta and the City of Atlanta will have allocated nearly $140 million to impact affordable housing and homelessness since December of last year.”
This combined funding includes $40 million from Housing Opportunity Bonds, $26 million in Homeless Opportunity Bonds (along with an additional $25 million contribution from the United Way), $60 million through a funding agreement between Invest Atlanta and the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA), and $12 million from the Atlanta BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund.