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Ceasar Mitchell: Affordable Housing Requirements Should Be In Zoning Code

The City of Atlanta should consider requiring multifamily developers to include some affordable housing units in new projects by amending the zoning code. That's one idea Atlanta City Council president Ceasar Mitchell has for the future. You can hear more from Ceasar next week at Bisnow's Atlanta 2016 Forecast event, Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the W Midtown, starting at 7:30am.


While the city's streak for attracting jobs has been impressive this past year, Ceasar says the “constant thread” that keeps rearing in discussions has to do with affordable housing. “I think affordable housing policy is going to be critical to our future,” he says, both to attract workforce residents and businesses. He says since the recession, Atlanta has “gotten behind the eight-ball” in terms of addressing a growing disparity of rents and average salaries.

While the city does have tools to encourage affordable developments—tax abatement or direct lending—Ceasar says he'd like to see inclusionary zoning policies in the coming city zoning rewrite, which would require a certain number of affordable units for every new development.

Now that a new population—many of whom are Millennials—is moving into the city limits thanks to a booming multifamily housing market, Ceasar tells us the question will be how does the city encourage that population to mature in the city without heading back to the 'burbs once they marry and start families.


Ceasar says that will put two issues on the front burner for city council: public safety and better schools. “Even though the city doesn't have any direct control over education, it's going to be extremely important that we partner” with the Atlanta school board.

Hear more from Ceasar and other industry stars, including Hines Interests' John Heagy (here), Transwestern's Bo Jackson and Integral Group's Christopher Martorella at our Atlanta 2016 Forecast event, Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the W Midtown, starting at 7:30am. (info and tix here).