Sandy Springs has issued a request for proposals to identify a consultant to help the city conduct a housing needs assessment.

The RFP has been issued following a discussion at the annual council retreat in January about the housing needs of the city, including housing affordability. Mayor Rusty Paul said at a March 17 council meeting when the RFP was announced that the assessment has been mischaracterized as an affordable housing study.

The purpose of the assessment is to provide the city with a better understanding of the existing housing market and current and future housing needs in Sandy Springs, according to a press release. 

The housing assessment is intended to review existing housing conditions; demographic and market demands; housing gaps and issues; current and anticipated unmet housing needs; and include an outlook of anticipated housing demands over the next 10 years, the release said.

When completed, the city expects the assessment will create a framework for the creation of a “strategic housing action plan.”

As noted in the Next Ten Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the city has a notable lack of households in the $65,000 to $100,000 income range, whether renters or owners, of any age, the release said.

“As part of the city’s priority towards sustainable growth, city leaders hope to use the assessment to study further and understand issues impacting housing in this market that can be used to later develop strategies,” the release said. 

At a March 17 virtual council meeting, Paul said the assessment has been characterized inaccurately as an affordable housing study.

“So it’s really looking at the total housing picture in the city of Sandy Springs to determine what we have, what we don’t have, what the gaps are and then that will guide future policy decision making by this body, is that correct,” Paul said.

“That is correct,” Assistant City Manager Kristin Smith, who gave a brief presentation on the RFP said.

Proposal submissions are due no later than April 16. According to Smith, a contractor should be chosen by May and the assessment should be complete by the end of 2020.

Hannah Greco

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.