The affordable housing strategy of Roswell Organization for Community Development Inc. (ROCD) contains multiple elements. It grew out the requirement of providing meaningful affordable housing access to opportunities for our residents who are vital to our city. But affordability means different things to different people. Our goal is to provide a variety of housing options for a full spectrum of residents so that all who desire to call Roswell and North Fulton home can afford to live here. This Plan focuses on actions to create and preserve homes that are affordable to households. This includes opportunities for work force housing for our firefighters, police officers, seniors, teachers, cooks, and city employees. Our solutions ranges from finding ways to use existing public dollars and land owned by faith based groups, city of Roswell, Roswell Housing Authority and private individual as an incentive to attract private sector investment. We will use our political capital to enable changes in zoning, expediting redevelopment of vacant land around any blighted properties, tax and developer incentives.
To make the plan a reality we must also gain the ability marshal the resources of the civic organizations, state and federal agencies, church, philanthropic community, neighborhood groups, as well as local businesses, and other non-profits.
Key members of our ROCD Team have been an active part of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) originally established back in 2013. This task which worked with elements of the University of Georgia and other cities across the state for over 5 years concluded that Roswell was unique. Our city is unique in that it has a very high number of high net worth individuals, highly educated individuals, and a large number of high end neighborhoods. Other issues noted were:
- There is a growing gap between what people can afford versus what people are making.
- Lack of broad community and local political support of creating affordable solutions
- There is a sky rocking increase in the price of rental properties in the Atlanta Metro Area adding to an already stressful situation.
- Properties in and around City Hall, Canton Street, and Groveway are unaffordable for the average person.
- The lack of supply of lots and property to acquire for building affordable housing.
- The supply of quality affordable housing that currently exist is scarce.
The full finding of the (GICH) task force will be helpful in providing details and important information as we describe the measures of success for our housing plan.
We know that families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing. A family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.
We also plan on drawing on companies like Integral who have already established a foot hole in the Roswell market. Integral is led by Egbert Perry, CEO and Chairman, a highly respected pillar of the Atlanta community. The firm and its principals developed Veranda working with the Roswell Housing Authority. The company have led over $5b in investments in major urban master planned communities and urban mixed-use projects throughout the United States.
- Convince the several land owners in the Groveway Area to partner with ROCD in its land procurement strategy.
- Explore and leverage resources around the New Markets Tax Credits Program
- Research grants for planning and building
- Create a sense of urgency at the local and civic levels
Partner with the faith based community