Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2017
Mayor Kasim Reed Announces New Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program
Partnership with Westside Future Fund will ensure that current Westside Atlanta residents are not displaced
ATLANTA– Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that 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.
During a press conference held at the home of an English Avenue resident who has qualified for the program, Mayor Reed was joined by Department of Planning and Community Development Commissioner Tim Keane, Westside Future Fund Executive Director John Ahmann, Vine City Neighborhood Association President Pastor Dexter Johnson and Atlanta Councilmembers Ivory Lee Young, Jr., Michael Julian Bond and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Commissioner Tim Keane was instrumental in helping shape the program by offering best practices from a similar initiative administered in the City of Charleston.
“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 Reed. “This program is another stake in the ground to preserve the character and the history of our transformative Atlanta neighborhoods. I would like to thank Commissioner Tim Keane for his leadership, and all the partners who believe in our vision to revitalize Westside Atlanta and serve as a City where everyone can live and build their dreams.”
“The Department of Planning and Community Development is committed to achieving sustainable growth in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods,” said Commissioner 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, will operate as a grant for individuals and will not require participants to pay back any funds received. Residents can apply for the grant program from April 12, 2017 – March 15, 2018. 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. The Collaborative is driven by the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Atlanta Housing Authority, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and the Westside Future Fund. The Collaborative receives guidance and input from members of the community.
“Our success begins and ends with the residents,” said John Ahmann, Executive Director of the Westside Future Fund. “When the Westside Future Fund was created, we were clear in our intention to do right by the members of this community. I'm grateful to have a board and a host of supporters who have
taken that charge to heart. Their tireless support and generosity allows
us to keep our promise, ensuring that the people who have grown up and built their lives here can continue to be a part of it for generations to come.”
Philanthropic support comes from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, the Georgia Power Foundation, Cox Enterprises, Pulte Group, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific and individual contributor Tommy Holder, chairman and CEO of Holder Construction Company.
The Reed Administration has made it a priority to revitalize Atlanta’s Westside and has worked to bring new public and private resources to support economic and civic development in the area.
In 2015, Mayor Reed partnered with Atlanta business leaders to establish the Westside Future Fund. The Fund serves as a catalyst for philanthropic and corporate support to accelerate improvements in the health, education
and welfare of current residents, address equity and social justice issues associated with new residential and commercial development, and attract new investment, new jobs and new residents.
The City of Atlanta has pledged more than $30 million in new infrastructure, greenspace
expansion and to fund Martin Luther King Jr. Drive streetscape improvements, which will transform the iconic road into a connected corridor with a Complete Streets approach.
In September 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 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, Ashview 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.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed