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Shirley Franklin says Atlanta could fund affordable housing if political will existed

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin received an award Wednesday named for Maynard Jackson, another former mayor, and used her acceptance speech to outline a way for Atlanta to increase the number of affordable homes in the city.

Franklin said Atlanta could use its own general funds to help pay for construction of affordable homes and to maintain the stock of existing homes that are affordable to folks who earn the salary of a schoolteacher.

“We believe there is nothing in state or city law that says the city could not set aside funding from its own general fund sources to do mixed income housing, housing incentives, holistic community redevelopment,” Franklin said.

Franklin said she can envision a program of selling a housing bond every four years or so, of an amount around $40 million. Franklin said the figures are just examples of the size of investment that, over time, could make a real difference if the ability of working-class folks to reside in the city.

A similar public policy commitment enabled Atlanta, over time, to establish the world’s busiest passenger airport, she said.

“The only thing that separates us from these incentives is the will to do it,” Franklin said of the housing bond.

Franklin spokes at the 25th anniversary breakfast celebration of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. ANDP was incorporated July 1, 1991 during Jackson’s third term as mayor. A non-profit, ANDP resulted from the merger of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Housing Resource Center and the city’s Neighborhood Development Department.

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