NAHB and Fannie Mae announced their workforce housing initiative in March with a pledge to expand the stock of homes near the workplaces of employees such as police officers, firefighters, healthcare workers and those in the service and retail industries. While the effort will be providing affordably priced housing in specific locations, it will also serve as a laboratory for new approaches to meeting the housing needs of workers that can be repeated around the country.
“In Atlanta, as in the rest of the country, homeownership is increasingly out of the reach of our working families,” said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn, who has made housing for America’s working families the top priority of the association this year. “Working with Fannie Mae and our local partners in Atlanta and around the country, we will reverse this trend and open new opportunities for millions of working families to afford a home of their own.”
Rayburn cited the strong leadership of Atlanta's mayor as a consistend advocate for housing and he noted that the area also has "an energetic private sector, and effective community and regional organizations." Exemplifying the city's "can-do spirit," he said, is builder Bobby Lunceford, who is a leader in Cobb Housing Incorporated, an organization seeking to provide affordable housing options in Cobb County and a force behind Mitchell Chase Development homes, which he called "an excellent example of workforce housing."
Commending NAHB for putting the issue of workforce housing on the national agenda and “challenging Fannie Mae to put our low-cost housing capital to work to make tangible progress,” Franklin D. Raines, chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, said that, “We will share the lessons we learn in Atlanta with other municipalities seeking to expand their workforce housing stock.”
Research released at the end of last month by the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership found that teachers, firefighters, police officers, office administrators, retail service providers and other moderate-income workers could not qualify in 2002 to purchase the area’s average-priced home with their average starting salaries. Ranging from $22,000-$35,000, salaries for these professions fell far short of the $54,000-$73,000 incomes needed to purchase the average-priced home of $243,000 in the City of Atlanta and $180,000 for the region.
Cascade Parc, located near downtown Atlanta in the former Kings Ridge community, will include 331 condominiums, townhomes and estate homes on a 50-acre site. McSwain was able to price the homes within reach of the city’s working families with a land subsidy from the Atlanta Development Authority and a $3.5 million debt investment from Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund™.
“I’m proud to be able to offer working families homes that they can afford and enjoy for years to come at Cascade Parc,” said McSwain.
“There are already some great examples in the marketplace that demonstrate the commitment of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association to addressing housing affordability for working families,” said David Smith, the association’s president.
“Workforce housing is an integral part of the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative and is essential to creating communities where our residents can live, work and connect to their neighbors,” said C. Crandle Bray, chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Workforce housing is a goal of Fannie Mae’s American Dream Commitment, which is designed to help tackle the toughest housing problems facing the country.
For more information about NAHB’s workforce housing initiative, click here.
To find out more about the American Dream Commitment or Fannie Mae’s affordable mortgage products, consumers can call Fannie Mae’s Consumer Resource Center at 800-7FANNIE (800-732-6643) Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.
[ Go to Top ]