A unique Grove Park housing initiative geared toward giving “very low-income families” a boost is making progress on the Westside, where housing prices have recently ballooned as outside investment pours in, according to Invest Atlanta.

The Invest Atlanta Board recently approved $1.8 million in Housing Opportunity Funds to help cover the costs of constructing affordable, single-family rental units that will be dotted around a few blocks of Grove Park, a Westside community that’s struggled with absentee landlords, a prevalence of fallow land, and blighted housing.

Heading the project is housing nonprofit Grove Park Renewals, which owns 10 parcels and plans to create 40 units of relatively affordable housing on them.

Plans call for two structures to be built on each plot of land: a primary unit that, from the street, will look like a more traditional house; and behind that, an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, with separate living quarters.

A 3D site diagram showing how Grove Park Renewal Rentals will be arranged on available land. Courtesy of Invest Atlanta/Grove Park Renewal

More than half of the units will be reserved as affordable housing at 30, 50, and 80 percent of the area median income. Twelve will be considered permanently affordable, while 10 will be deed-restricted (meaning they’ll be required to remain affordable for a certain period of time), according to Invest Atlanta.  

Atlanta Housing Choice Vouchers will also be available for residents of 10 units.

According to a fact sheet provided to Urbanize Atlanta, two-bedroom units with 1,000 square feet would rent for $582 per month at 30 percent AMI. Five of those are planned overall.

The priciest options will be market-rate, three-bedroom units with 1,400 square feet and $2,000 monthly rents.

Overall, 18 units will be market-rate. Of those, 10 will be 570-square-foot one-bedrooms that rent for $1,250 monthly, according to the fact sheet.

One Grove Park Renewal Rentals project under construction now is located at 1842 Markone Street. The site is a few blocks south of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, roughly a mile southwest of Atlanta’s largest greenspace, Westside Park, and walkable to Bankhead MARTA station.

The Markone Street property in question—one of 10 properties targeted for Grove Park Renewal housing in the neighborhood—as seen in 2019. Google Maps

Plans for infilling the Markone Street property. Invest Atlanta

Total construction costs are expected to land around $6.7 million. Philanthropic contributions and equity from other Grove Park Renewal projects will cover part of that cost, per Invest Atlanta.

According to Grove Park Renewal’s website, the organization since 2015 has acquired 64 properties, renovated 27 houses, and sold eight properties. Twenty-nine of those properties are occupied, and 16 dilapidated homes were demolished.   

The group’s goal, per their mission statement, is to “empower neighbors through quality, dignified housing” and purge Grove Park of so many blighted homes “owned by absentee landlords who had little interest in fostering community” before.

Have a closer look at plans for the Grove Park projects—including floorplans that illustrate how the homes are being puzzled together—in the gallery above.

Affordable housing news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)