Mayor Andre Dickens To Decide On Policy That Will Clear Homeless Encampments Under Bridges Following Fire On Chesire

Mayor Andre Dickens is seeking solutions after another fire impacted Cheshire Bridge Road. The fire shed light on the homeless issue in the city. Individuals who live under bridges often use makeshift fire pits to remain warm during the winter.

Dickens could implement a policy that would disallow individuals to live under bridges in Atlanta. 

“Policy decisions are going to be made around whether we allow or disallow anybody to ever go up under a bridge to live, and so consider that trespassing,” Dickens said. 

To combat homelessness in Atlanta, Dickens issued an Executive Order for the new Rapid Housing initiative. With the initiative, the city is allocating $4,000,000 to begin efforts to provide new quick-delivery housing to individuals experiencing homelessness.

The funds would be allocated to the City’s Continuum of Care—Partners for HOME (PFH)—to execute phase one to acquire structures from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to relocate and install new Rapid Housing units on City-owned property.

The use of shipping containers for Rapid Housing units will allow for quick construction and flexibility to relocate the units to another site in the future. The long-term goal for the City’s 184 Forsyth St property is to develop permanent mixed-income housing. Deploying Rapid Housing units at the property allows the Administration to address the pressing need for housing for residents experiencing homelessness, while preserving the opportunity to fully redevelop the site in the future. The implementation team will begin community engagement soon about the planned project.

“Each and every Atlantan deserves a place to call home and our Administration understands the sense of urgency to stabilize individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our city,” said Mayor Dickens. “Any one of us are just one bad day away from finding ourselves needing a hand-up to get back on our feet. Working with our partners and City Council, and using a little innovation, we will swiftly deploy these resources to give folks the support they need and deserve.”

During his tenure, Dickens has pledged to construct 20,000 affordable housing units in eight years. He said they’ve already built 3,000 and are in the planning phases of another 5,000.



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