February 12, 2013

Attractive, Affordable Housing Making a Difference in Atlanta

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The City of Atlanta is successfully restoring the Edgewood neighborhood to its former beauty while incorporating green building design through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  The goal of the program is to stabilize communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment.  Now, with the assistance of NSP, Edgewood is in the midst of a community makeover.

Atlanta chose to invest in the Edgewood community by developing the Retreat at Edgewood.  The Retreat at Edgewood sits on the former site of Edgewood Housing Apartments that was vacant for two years before it was demolished in 2008.  The Edgewood neighborhood is predominantly a residential community that is close in proximity to the downtown area, conveniently located near Interstate 20 and accessible to MARTA transportation lines.  As the community gentrifies, property values are rising, making quality affordable housing rare.

Often, affordable homes are built as high rises, however, the new affordable community in Edgewood consists of 100 stacked flats and townhouses which blend with the overall family style residential neighborhood.  The spacious one, two and three bedroom apartment homes are LEED for Homes certified at the Silver level and include: Energy Star certified dishwashers, washers and dryers;  eco-friendly carpet throughout the units; ceramic tile in the kitchens, bathrooms and entryways; and low-flow water sensors for toilets and faucets. The homes are also structured to allow solar panels to be added later.  Several homes are barrier free with zero step entrances. Others are accessible for mobility impaired and audio/visual impaired people.

The City of Atlanta, developers, and partners worked and continue to work closely with the community by keeping them involved with the design of this project.

Nikel is a Presidential Management Fellow in HUD’s Atlanta Regional Office.

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