Smart Growth Means Housing For Everyone
Metro Atlanta has a need for more housing choices, for more housing near jobs, and for housing that is more affordable. Consider:
- 58 percent of metro residents live alone or with one other person, and yet two-thirds of metro area homes are stand-alone, single-family houses.
- Thirty years ago, one in two households had children. By the year 2030, only one in five will include children.
- Residents 65 and older will number more than 1.2 million in 2030, triple the number in 2000. Many won’t want large houses on big lots.
- There are up to seven jobs for every home in the region’s activity centers and major corridors.
- Two-thirds of households with annual incomes less than $50,000 spend more than the recommended maximum of 30 percent of income for housing.
How can we offer more housing choices and reduce commutes?
- Make sure local zoning codes allow a wide range of housing types and prices, including affordable owned and rental housing.
- Break down barriers that prevent choice, including restrictions that prohibit multifamily housing or mandate minimum lot and house sizes.
- Support practices that keep housing affordable. Those practices include incentives that let developers build additional housing units in exchange for building some that are affordable and land banks that buy and hold property that would otherwise become too expensive for anything but high-priced homes.
- Encourage development that blends housing, offices and shops, so that at least some workers have the opportunity to cut commute times and expenses.
- Encourage lifelong communities that respect the young and old. Such places turn out to be communities that are right for all of us.
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