Affordable housing developments like this Inclusionary Zoning project by City of Refuge are made possible by through a combination of regulatory requirements and subsidies. (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will issue an executive order to invest $50 million in new bond funding to create or preserve 20,000 affordable homes by 2026.

The order is part Bottoms’ larger goal of investing $1 billion in affordable housing in Atlanta from both public and private funds.

“In keeping with our $1 billion commitment to affordable housing, I am pleased our team has found a path to continue the momentum of our One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan,” Bottoms said in a statement. “Despite the financial impact of COVID-19, our Administration remains committed to securing and creating quality, affordable housing for our legacy residents and all who call Atlanta home.”

The executive order directs the issuance of $50 million in bonds for affordable housing, which will be structured to take advantage of the current low-interest rate environment. The city will be able to draw down these funds in a manner that minimizes the near-term costs to the city and allows time for Atlanta’s economy to bounce back from the pandemic.

The order also directs the city’s officials to take the necessary actions to expand on these funds to ultimately issue $100 million in housing opportunity bonds. The city will deploy the $100 million in new affordable housing funds to repay the initial bonds and continue to implement the housing activities included in the Administration’s Housing Opportunity Bond legislation, introduced earlier this year and stalled due to the impact of the pandemic on city finances.

In 2019, Bottoms released the Administration’s Housing Affordability Action Plan —a roadmap to increase the supply of housing in the City of Atlanta.

The executive order comes on the heels of a plan to create more affordable housing in the Atlanta by rezoning neighborhoods to allow for more density. The Atlanta City Design Housing Initiative would allow for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) including detached structures, transformation of single-family homes into duplexes,  basement apartments, and garage conversions.