Preserving Affordability As Atlanta's BeltLine Takes Off

The Atlanta BeltLine brings much promise to the city of Atlanta, but will elevated housing costs be an unwelcome addition? Atlanta is looking to a community land trust to preserve affordability for the long-term near this new asset.
February 15, 2011, 2pm PST | Matthew Brian Hersh
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Atlanta's BeltLine transit project has been attracting attention ever since it was a 1999 masters thesis by an inventive Georgia Tech student. Ryan Sherriff, writing for Shelterforce, calls it "one of the most comprehensive and ambitious transit-oriented development projects in the city of Atlanta, and possibly the country."

But as Sherriff notes, the project has had a not entirely positive effect on affordability in the city:

"A particular challenge with a large-scale transit-oriented development project like the BeltLine is how to create affordable housing that will remain affordable as long as the transit infrastructure and other amenities last. Once developed, the BeltLine's light rail system, parks, and other related development will likely last for decades, even centuries. As long as these features are in place, there will likely be a premium on housing located nearby, making it difficult for lower income families to live close to these vital transit services and amenities."

Sherriff documents how the city is putting measures into place to guarantee access to affordable housing along the BeltLine.

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Published on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in Shelterforce Magazine
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