Brookhaven’s Affordable Housing Task Force presents findings, recommendations to City Council
Brookhaven, GA, July 25, 2017 – The City of Brookhaven’s Affordable Housing Task Force delivered its recommendations to City Council on July 25.
The task force was formed by the City in September 2016 as a result of community input. The 13-member task force is comprised of a diverse group of clergy, housing and outreach specialists, and residents.
After meeting over the course of eight months and hearing from multiple community, regional and national experts to fully understand the complex issue of affordable housing, the group prepared a report analyzing the issue and exploring solutions and opportunities.
David Schaefer, task force chairman and Director of Advocacy at the Latin American Association, delivered the report, which pointed out core issues such as rising rents and low inventory of affordable “starter homes.”
“Our recommendations are not a wholesale solution to the housing challenges facing Brookhaven. But they do present an expert framework for taking steps to preserve the economic and social diversity that is the hallmark of our community,” Schaefer said. “Simple steps that recognize the divergent interests of residents, business owners, developers, educational institutions and government can often bring those interests more in line with each other while presenting a winning outcome for the community.”
The task force’s primary recommendations include:
- Positioning the city as a community resource
- Supporting a suitable living environment as part of affordable housing choice
- Positioning the city as a desirable partner with developers participating in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs
- Requiring a developer affordability impact statement
- Exploring creative innovations and cross-sector solutions to protect existing affordable housing, as well as ensure its place in the mix of the city long-term
- Incorporating affordable housing into the 2017 Brookhaven zoning rewrite
- Working beyond municipal boundaries to provide regional solution
“Brookhaven is fortunate to have this panel of experts weighing in on a nationwide issue that profoundly affects economic development,” said Mayor John Ernst. “A lack of affordable housing means a workforce that can’t afford to live here, and that has an impact on companies who might be looking to move to Brookhaven. Plus, it’s a human issue. We value all of our citizens, and want them to have the opportunity to remain here.”
The task force report also pointed to opportunities in Brookhaven that can support affordable housing initiatives, including the City Council’s support of the group, building cooperative relationships with DeKalb County and adjoining cities, steadily improving schools with vested leadership and community, and the emergence of regional employers such CHOA, the Hawks and Emory.
Following the presentation, the report will be delivered to city staff to review and make recommendations regarding opportunities for implementation.
Volunteer members who were appointed by the Mayor and City Council, are:
David Schaefer, Chairman
Rev. Mac Broughton
Rev. Hace Cargo
Rev. David Park
Pete Walker Jr.
John Corcoran, Advisory Member
- Brookhaven Affordable Housing Task Force Executive Summary
- Brookhaven Affordable Housing Task Force Report and Recommendations
- Brookhaven Affordable Housing Task Force Presentation to City Council
Ann Marie Quill