Written: October 6, 2017

Atlanta City Council to consider density bonuses for affordable housing

Developers willing to add affordable housing units to apartment projects or build near transit could receive density bonuses under legislation introduced into the Atlanta City Council this week.

The ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Carla Smith, would let developers willing to commit to affordable housing construct taller buildings, thus allowing more apartments. Apartment projects built near transit also would qualify for density bonuses.

Unlike two “inclusionary zoning” ordinances currently circulating among local neighborhood planning units (NPUs), Smith’s ordinance would be voluntary for developers rather than mandatory. It also would apply to the entire city, rather than specific communities.

“Affordable housing needs to be everywhere,” Smith said.

Smith said she plans to send the ordinance to the NPUs for input before putting it through the city council’s committee review process.

“I want to hear everyone’s ideas,” she said. “Then, maybe we can write a [new] paper or amend this paper.”

While Smith is lead sponsor of the ordinance, most of the other council members also have signed on as co-sponsors.

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