Statement from Mayor Kasim Reed concerning 3-13-14 Saporta Report Column on AHA Report
Mayor’s Office of Communications
Thế giới cá 55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Carlos Campos, Interim Director
Thế giới cáFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03/18/2014
Thế giới cáStatement from Mayor Kasim Reed concerning 3-13-14 Saporta Report Column on AHA Report
ATLANTA - On March 13, 2104 a headline appeared on the Saporta Report reading: “AHA after Renee Glover: No new initiatives for residents; but provide land for Falcons parking lot.” The choice of headline was clearly meant to insinuate, falsely, that the Atlanta Housing Authority is doing nothing to provide affordable housing to our City’s residents.
Thế giới cáNothing could be further from the truth. And not only is this sort of suggestion baseless—it’s counterproductive to what the AHA and the City of Atlanta is currently trying to accomplish.
Thế giới cáIn fact, only a few days after this article appeared, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) named Atlanta one of six finalists for a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant. The $30 million grant would go towards revitalizing neighborhoods surrounding the Atlanta University Center, where the University Homes housing project once stood.
The planning grant process established a shared vision for revitalization among the City, AHA, and other partners and allowed the collaborators to align their strategies for investment to strengthen the neighborhood.
The implementation grant will support neighborhood revitalization strategies identified in the neighborhood transformation plan and attract additional community investments, as well as support the revitalization of the former University Homes site, now known as Scholars Landing. As part of the grant application, AHA leveraged $189 million in public and private commitments for investments in the neighborhood.
David’s characterizations were extremely unfair to the current management team, which led the effort to prepare one of the most important grant applications for the AHA in many years. Perceptions matter, and ultimately this article paints an extremely unfair picture of one of the leading housing authorities in America.
We certainly acknowledge Ms. Renee Glover deserves a great deal of credit the transition of public housing in Atlanta, but be assured that the great work continues.
More than a decade ago, the AHA and the East Lake Foundation, with the help a HUD HOPE VI grant, worked together to transform the troubled East Lake community. Fast forward to today and a neighborhood that was once derisively called “Little Vietnam” is now a thriving community with first-class educational opportunities, high-quality mixed-income housing, and low crime rates.
Interestingly, the author was in attendance at an event where Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan praised the East Lake project, calling Atlanta a “national leader” and a “model” for the development of mixed-income housing.
He even wrote an article about the event that included Secretary Donovan’s words ():
• “Atlanta has been a national leader on this, on mixed income housing, where we’re going to make sure there is a diverse group of folks in a neighborhood with access to grocery stores, transportation to jobs. We know that model works. We’ve seen it here. We’ve seen it around the country.”
• “We need to make sure we put in, like the mayor said, not just the short term of building it, but also protections that keep that mix over time, because we don’t want to go back to the old things that we’re demolishing everywhere around. That would be the wrong direction, and Atlanta is a model in showing the right direction.”
Thế giới cáI should note that the same AHA report the author selectively quotes to make his argument goes on to describe, in great detail, the AHA’s extensive ongoing plans for FY2015.
These plans include: advancing master plans for mixed-use, mixed-income communities, moving forward on real estate development initiatives already in progress, and supporting housing and homelessness initiatives. Many Atlanta communities will benefit, including Auburn Pointe, Capitol Gateway, the Villages at Carver, Centennial Place, CollegeTown at West End, Mechanicsville, West Highlands at Heman E. Perry Boulevard, and Scholars Landing.
The report also discusses ongoing efforts to seek Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants from HUD and AHA’s continuing efforts to provide down payment assistance to promote home ownership.
Thế giới cá The fact is both the AHA and my administration are strongly committed to building on the kind of success we’ve witnessed at East Lake. That’s why we’re hopeful that we receive a Choice Neighborhoods Grant for the Atlanta University Center neighborhood.
I will do everything in my power to ensure we receive this grant and that Atlanta remains a national leader on affordable housing.
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