A project that aims to help Atlanta’s affordable housing crisis today and for future generations is set to officially move forward near one of the metro’s most hallowed golf courses.
Officials with The Atlanta Land Trust (ALT), East Lake Foundation, and the Tour Championship (part of the PGA Tour held annually at East Lake Golf Club) have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony March 29 for a project called The Trust at East Lake. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is expected to speak at the event, alongside other dignitaries.
The Trust at East Lake is planned as a 40-unit townhome community with permanent affordability baked in. It’ll rise on vacant land at 697 Fayetteville Road in DeKalb County, just south of Glenwood Avenue and East Lake’s Publix Super Market. East Lake Golf Club’s main entrance is about a mile from the townhome site.
The project was made feasible by a 2-acre land donation from The CF Foundation, a nonprofit that’s led revitalization efforts in East Lake for 30 years, alongside the East Lake Foundation.
For the East Lake townhomes, ALT has partnered with the DaVinci Development Collaborative. Plans call for units ranging from one-bedrooms with 600 square feet to three-bedroom options with 1,500 square feet.
Sales prices for townhomes will start at $155,000, according to the East Lake Foundation.
ALT’s goal is to make half of the townhomes affordable to families earning at or below 80 percent of the area median income, which translates to about $69,000 for a family of four. The rest of the homes would be considered affordable for families earning between 80 and 120 percent of AMI, officials have said.
According to the project’s announcement last year, the Trust as East Lake is scheduled to be complete in fall 2025. Officials have said they’re planning an outreach campaign to ensure current East Lake residents know the homeownership opportunities will be available.
The East Lake townhomes are one of three projects ALT is moving forward as a means of mitigating gentrification as housing prices skyrocket in the city. With affordable housing ventures underway in Oakland City, Grove Park, Pittsburgh, and along the BeltLine, ALT hopes to create 300 residences that are both permanently affordable and energy-efficient by the end of 2027.
ALT uses a community land trust model as a means of keeping housing relatively affordable, agency leaders say, despite market fluctuations. A dual-ownership arrangement allows lower-income families to purchase only the home (or townhome, in East Lake’s case) while leasing the land beneath it from ATL.
“If and when the owner chooses to sell their home, resale restrictions ensure it will remain affordable for the next family, even as the seller benefits from equity they created while in the home,” reads an explainer. “The renewable, inheritable, ground lease means each home can provide affordable housing to approximately 16 families over the initial 99-year term, assuming an average tenure of six years.”
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