Reaching the Dream -- Atlanta

Quote: Nearly 70 percent of all Americans own their homes. However, less than half of all African-Americans and Hispanic families are homeowners. -- HUD News Release, October 9, 2003.

In the 2003 State of the City Address, Mayor Shirley Franklin addressed neighborhood housing needs, as well as goals for revitalization of the city. One goal is to make Atlanta a more affordable city for middle- and low-income residents. Following the recommendations of the Housing Task Force, the city will initiate a new workforce housing incentive program, designed specifically to assist teachers, police officers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers with in-town housing.

The Mayor also set a goal to stimulate economic opportunities in Atlanta's low-income communities through public/private partnerships with Atlanta's business, financial, and nonprofit organizations, which will spur business, commercial, and job development under the Federal Renewal Community Act. This program also leverages the human service programs developed under the Atlanta Empowerment Zone, while replacing the structure with a more market-driven strategy.

Finally, Atlanta voters approved a $150 million bond referendum to improve roads, sidewalks, and streetscapes, and to add bike lanes and fix up neighborhood parks. More than 300 neighborhood improvement projects were started in 2003.

With this in mind, the HUD Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) has chosen Atlanta for the "Reaching the Dream" initiative. The following information provides a look at some of Atlanta's neighborhoods undergoing revitalization, as well as an overview of the city of Atlanta's demographics.


Atlanta has more than 200 neighborhoods, and over 40 of these are low- and very low-income communities. The following neighborhoods are areas with the greatest amount of Federal monies dedicated to their revitalization, locations with the highest poverty rates, and where census data revealed a significantly lower per capita income than that of surrounding neighborhoods:

  • Bankhead-The Bankhead area in the northwest corner of the city is now undergoing the Donald L. Hollowell Parkway Redevelopment Plan through the city of Atlanta's Bureau of Planning. The high concentration of below-market-rate housing and subsequent lower-income characteristics contribute to the need for redevelopment.
  • Southside Neighborhoods-These neighborhoods comprise one of the Atlanta Development Authority's development projects. Park Place South, the newest residential development in this area, has a strong mix of housing styles catering to various markets and income levels.
  • Historic Westside Village-This area is also an Atlanta Development Authority project. A $140 million revitalization project of the Historic Westside Village is currently under way. It features 456,500 square feet of residential buildings, with 200 apartments over retail, 85 loft units, 125 condos, and 35 town homes.

Summary of Statistics for Atlanta

Between 1990 and 2000, Atlanta saw a population growth of nearly 6 percent, bringing the total population to 416,474. The city itself is relatively small in land area, but the metropolitan region is one of the largest in the southeastern United States, occupying 20 counties and containing a number of smaller established municipalities.

The racial composition of the residents of Atlanta is:

Caucasian-33 percent
African American-61 percent
Asian American-2 percent
Hispanic or Latino-5 percent

Forty-four percent of the residents own the housing quarters where they live, while the other 56 percent are renter occupants. The 2000 median value of all owner occupied housing is $144,185.

Based on the 2000 census, the median annual household income in Atlanta was $40,606. Nearly 25 percent of households operate on an estimated yearly income of less than $15,000, and the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent.

HUD's Regional Faith-Based Liaison
Teresa J. Chappell
Atlanta Regional Office
Five Points Plaza Building
40 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: (404) 331-5001, ext 2943
Fax: (404) 730-2392

HUD's Regional Director
Brian E. Noyes
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Five Points Plaza Building
40 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: (404) 331-5136
Fax: (404) 730-2392


Content Archived: April 9, 2010