Photo credit: Henry Taylor/AJC
The City of Atlanta is partnering with the Westside Future Fund to launch the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program, an initiative which will pay any property tax increases for qualifying homeowners in the English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights and Atlanta University Center communities. The new program is designed to help ensure that current homeowners are not displaced due to rising property values as public and private investments are made in these neighborhoods.
“The City of Atlanta is proud to launch this essential program which will help ensure that long-time residents get to share in the prosperity coming to the Westside, thanks to new infrastructure, new parks, more transit, the Atlanta BeltLine, and a surge in economic development,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This program is another stake in the ground to preserve the character and the history of our transformative Atlanta neighborhoods.”
“The Department of Planning and Community Development is committed to achieving sustainable growth in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Tim Keane. “As part of that sustainable growth, we must have programs and policies in place to ensure affordable housing and offer housing incentives and resources to our residents who need them the most. We hope that the Anti-Displacement Tax Program is one of many initiatives to come.”
The fund, administered by the Westside Future Fund and sourced from philanthropic donations and community weigh-in, will operate as a grant for individuals and will not require participants to pay back any funds received. Fund payments will begin in the 2018 tax year.
The program is one of many strategies initiated by the Westside Community Retention Collaborative which was created to address Westside resident concerns on displacement and gentrification.
In September 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the City of Atlanta a $30 million CHOICE Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, which has already enabled the city to leverage additional public and private funds to assist in revitalizing five Westside neighborhoods.
In June 2016, the City of Atlanta received the Promise Zone designation, which allows the City to work strategically with HUD and other federal agencies to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in the “Westside Promise Zone,” comprised of the historic Atlanta University Center neighborhood, Heights, Vine City, English Avenue and Castleberry Hill.
The communities will also soon welcome the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Castleberry Park mixed-use development and a Hard Rock Hotel.