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Atlanta signs off on $4M plan to use shipping containers for homeless housing

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(The Center Square) — The Atlanta City Council signed off on spending $4 million to develop “quick-delivery housing” for the city’s homeless population.

Last month, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens issued an executive order directing the city’s chief financial officer to fund a new “Rapid Housing” initiative. The city plans to repurpose shipping containers that the Georgia Emergency Management Agency used as temporary hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic and are now being decommissioned.

The city will donate the $4 million to Partners for Home, which will acquire the “prefabricated structures.” A GEMA spokesperson did not respond to a request for more information about the Atlanta plan.

The move is part of Dickens’ push “to build or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing.”

There are more than 2,600 homeless people in Atlanta. Some sources indicate that the population may be decreasing, while others indicate that some might be moving to the city’s suburbs.

Additionally, while the Peach State homeless population decreased by 45.6% between 2007 and 2022, it increased by 4.4% since 2020.

Separately, Atlanta council members signed off on an ordinance to execute an intergovernmental agreement with the Atlanta Urban Development Corporation. The Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta created AUDC as a nonprofit subsidiary on July 26 at the request of city officials.

The ordinance gives AUDC an option to buy city-owned “surplus properties.” It also authorizes $3 million for the AUDC and reserves $1 million for the city to support the AUDC in its Housing Strike Force implementation efforts.

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