Learn More about the ATL Challenge Finalists’ Innovative Proposals – In Their Own Words

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Updated April 10, 2017

Since the announcement of the finalists for Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Preservation Challenge (ATL Challenge) in January, Tapestry Development Group, Tristar, and Stryant Investments have been working to conduct due diligence, engage stakeholders, and otherwise move their proposals from “idea” toward “implementation.” Final proposals will be submitted in early May, and the overall winner of the ATL Challenge will be announced later that month.

Last week, we ran a series of blog posts so each finalist can make the case for their proposal – in their own words. They detailed the specific affordable housing preservation needs they plan to address, potential barriers, and how their proposal will strengthen the affordable housing preservation “infrastructure” of the Atlanta region. You can find those posts at:

As always, please feel free to respond to these proposals or raise questions through the comments field on the individual posts or the Discussion Page.

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Increasing Affordability through Spatial Efficiency and Zoning Flexibility

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By Atticus LeBlanc, Stryant Investments

According to Realtor Magazine, Atlanta places 2nd in the US for largest average house size at 2,074 square feet (sf). Based on recent data from Yardi Matrix, an apartment market intelligence source, Atlanta also has the largest apartment sizes in the country, averaging over 974sf per apartment.  Given the current ratio of single family to multifamily units and a city population of 463,878, we have an average of 590 square feet of housing space for every individual in the city of Atlanta.  If we can increase spatial efficiency by just 25 square feet per person, we can create 20,723 units of affordable housing. . . just within the city limits.

These additional units would take the form of small multifamily dwellings, garage apartments, and co-housing both in existing single & multifamily dwellings as well as new structures.  While the creation or modification of houses into duplexes would have obvious benefits to a landlord as well as reducing rents, the development or conversion of existing large homes into smaller condominiums could also create additional opportunities for increased affordable homeownership as well as higher profitability for owners and developers.

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3Star Communities – A Community Impact Model

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By Margaret Stagmeier, TriStar

TriStar is honored to be one of the three finalists in the Atlanta Affordable Housing Preservation Challenge!

TriStar is working diligently on phase 2 of our submission for the challenge.  Since 2013, TriStar has studied the ecosystem around affordable housing for working families with household incomes at or below the poverty line.  From this study, we have developed an affordable preservation model that has been proven to impact low-performing schools in our region through offering stable, affordable housing, that fosters community building, improves education and wellness opportunities, and reduces transiency. The timing is in sync with the affordable housing and education crisis that continues to fester across generations of families.

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Atlanta Affordable Housing Preservation Program – Capital for Rehabilitation

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By Andrea Rattray, Tapestry Development Group

The Atlanta region is currently seeing a rapid increase in the need for affordable housing as Atlanta continues to grow the focus has been on “luxury” multifamily rental developments, putting upward pressure on rents across the region.  While the new construction of affordable multifamily rental housing continues through current programs, the demand for affordable rental housing far outweighs the supply. To mitigate this growing demand for safe stable affordable housing options, programs and capital should be made available for the preservation of existing affordable housing multifamily rental properties.  While existing programs are available for the preservation of affordable housing through programs like the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the high-barrier-to-entry nature of these programs make it difficult for property owners to access these capital sources.  When existing property owners can access capital for the moderate rehabilitation of existing properties, the cost of rehabilitation can be too expensive due to the rising cost of labor, materials and the lack of efficiencies of scale for single property low-unit count renovations. The cost implications of renovation make it difficult for property owners to find rehabilitation financially feasible without large increases in rent to offset the cost of borrowing funds.

Tapestry Development Group’s Atlanta Affordable Housing Preservation Program is designed to offer low-cost capital to mid-size affordable housing multifamily property owners with properties serving residents at 80% AMI or below.

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