Piece by Piece Update

March 2016





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Atlanta Still Leads in Negative Equity

(Courtesy of AJC): Despite several years of improvement in the housing market, metro Atlanta ranks third in the nation in the share of homeowners who still owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.  According to a study released today by Zillow, 17.6 percent of metro Atlanta homeowners still have negative equity, also described as being "underwater."  MORE

Neighborhoods with High Rates of Negative Equity Clustered Around Racial Lines

(Courtesy of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the AJC): The line between healthy and unhealthy housing market is largely a racial one, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. At least when it comes to negative equity, also described as being "underwater," the problem is much worse in areas that are largely African-American, according to Elora Raymond, a graduate researcher with the Fed's Center for Real Estate Analytics. "The places with persistent high negative equity are in predominantly black zip codes with longer commute times, higher unemployment rates, and high rental vacancy rates," Raymond writes.  MORE
Fannie and Freddie to Cut Mortgage Balances for Many
(Courtesy of Market Watch): Thousands of homeowners will be eligible to have their mortgage balances cut under a plan approved by the federal regulator of mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to people familiar with the matter.  The plan approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency marks the biggest step Fannie and Freddie will take to reduce mortgage balances for struggling homeowners since the housing crisis erupted. But it doesn't go as far as some housing advocates wanted.  Fewer than 50,000 homeowners likely will be eligible for the plan, which could be announced within the next few weeks, the people said. It likely will be limited to homeowners already behind in their mortgage payments who owe more than their homes are worth.  MORE
Home Rehab Work Raises Values of Surrounding Properties in Metro Atlanta

(Courtesy of AJC): Money spent on rehabilitation of housing more than pays for itself in added value to neighboring homes, according to a study of a local program.  Investment of $2.3 million raised the value of surrounding homes by $14.6 million, according to an analysis of work done by Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc.  The study, which was done on behalf of ANDP, adds to the argument that one of the most cost-effective ways to help an area hit by foreclosures and dilapidated housing is to rehabilitate some of it. MORE | REPORT

Affordable Housing for All Atlantans

(Courtesy of the Saporta Report): In a guest column for the Saporta Report, ANDP former CEO Hattie Dorsey notes that Atlanta is now included among the ranks of San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C. as being a city that lacks enough affordable housing options needed by its residents.  Dorsey contends that any inclusionary housing policy to be considered by the Atlanta City Council should aim for a minimum set aside of 20 percent of housing units as the goal for affordability.  A 10 percent set-aside will not meet the pent-up need. Of special concern are those residents who work in the service economy who too often pay as much as 60 percent for housing.  Dorsey suggests that the approved percentage of units must be made available to individuals who fall within 50 percent to 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).  MORE
Housing Landscape 2016
National Housing Conference Releases Metro Toolkits 
(Courtesy of NHC): As part of its Housing Landscape 2016 report, the National Housing Conference (NHC) has released metro area data reports that summarize housing affordability challenges and housing cost burdens of U.S. households using data from the American Community Survey.  Access the metro Atlanta data to learn more about the specific housing challenges facing low- and moderate-income working household in our region.

INNOVATION: New Mortgage Program in Detroit
(Courtesy of Enterprise Community Partners): A new home mortgage program was recently introduced in Detroit to address the persistent problem of extremely depressed property values. The Detroit Home Mortgage partnership is intended to address the gap between very low appraisal values and the higher loan amounts needed to cover the costs of improvements to make the homes livable. The initiative will encourage participating banks to loan the full costs of homes, including renovations, rather than provide mortgages only for the appraised value. It is expected that this initiative will help  guarantee an additional 1,000 mortgages.

Can the United States End Housing Instability Among the Poor?
In his newly released book Evicted, sociologist and 2016 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Desmond explores life for low-income renters and their landlords in two high-poverty Milwaukee communities. The book weaves together extensive data collection and fieldwork to add clarity about extreme housing instability, its causes and consequences, and the surprisingly interconnected relationships between America's poor and their landlords. Desmond was recently in Atlanta to discuss his new book. To continue the conversation about the book's implications for housing policy, How Housing Matters asked a group of experts to weigh in. Contributing to the conversation are: Chris Herbert, managing director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Chris Estes, president and CEO, National Housing Conference; and-as a joint response-Saneta deVuono-powell and Allison Allbee of ChangeLab Solutions.  MORE | NYT OP-ED "The Eviction Economy"

Vacancy and Abandonment and the Link to Social Justice
(Courtesy of Center for Community Progress): Vacancy and abandonment are often given much less attention as social justice issues than other urban issues such as gentrification and displacement. While both are crucially important issues to address, it is worth noting that vacancy is a problem in virtually every city across the country, even those experiencing resurgence in population and investment. So how does the reality of vacancy and abandonment connect to social justice?  MORE

Renting in America's Largest Metro Areas
Increase in Suburban Rentals
(Courtesy of Furman Center): The renter population grew in both central 

city and suburban areas while more renters struggled to find affordable housing in the 11 largest metropolitan areas in the US, according to the newly-released NYU Furman Center/Capital One National Affordable Rental Housing Landscape report. The report found that the increase in the rental population outside of Atlanta city limits was 2.5 times as large as the entire renter population in the city of Atlanta in 2014. The number of rental units in metro Atlanta increased 26 percent between 2006 and 2014-the third highest rate of increase among the 11 largest metro areas. Among low-income renters in metro Atlanta, 82 percent were severely rent burdened in 2014. MORE

Celebrating Veteran Homeownership
NeighborWorks America Salutes New ANDP Veteran Homeowner
(Courtesy of NeighborWorks America): With lead support from The Home Depot Foundation, and additional support from NeighborWorks America, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, National Community Stabilization Trust, and Wells Fargo, ANDP has designed a special initiative to meet the housing needs of Veterans in our region. Qualifying Veterans, Active Duty Military and Gold Star family members of all branches may qualify $5,000 in homebuyer assistance toward the purchase of a newly rehabbed, single-family home. DJ Darden retired from the Marine Corps after 12 years of service and was able to take advantage of the program to purchase a new home. Read DJ's story

Consumer Tips on Saving for Down Payment

(Courtesy of Down Payment Resource): According to a Consumer Reports national homeownership survey, more than one-third of millennial respondents said they didn't own a home because they hadn't saved enough for a down payment. For many, high rental costs and student debt make it difficult to save for a down payment. Consumer Reports highlights down payment savings strategies, including finding a no-interest loan or homeownership program through Down Payment Resource.  MORE


Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at with news of your upcoming events.

HomeSafe Georgia 

HomeSafe Georgia representatives will be at the following events to discuss their federally funded mortgage assistance program that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure. 
HomeSafe Georgia is a free, state government program to help homeowners who are unemployed, underemployed or face other types of financial hardships save their homes from foreclosure.  There is no cost to apply and no fee if you are approved.          
A homeowner who has experienced a financial hardship within the last 36 months i.e. hardship associated with loss of job, military service, death of a spouse, or medical hardship may be eligible for HomeSafe Georgia assistance.    We encourage potential eligible homeowners to attend one of the events. 
Churches, clubs and community organizations are encouraged to inform others about the above events and to help those without internet access to apply for these funds. For more information, please visit

  • April 1- Congress David Scott 13th Annual Job Fair from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta 30337.
  • April 19 - 1st Annual Spring Job Fair from 10:00 AM - 2 PM at the 12Stone® Church, 2050 Sugarloaf Circle, Duluth, 30097,
  • April 20 - SCTC Career Fair from Noon - 2 PM at Souther Crescent Technical College, 501 Varsity Road, Griffin.
  • May 3 - Veterans/Wounded Warrior Job Fair from 9:30 - 2:30 at U.S. Army Reserve Center, Building 14401, 15th Street & Lane Avenue, Fort Gordon.

April 28-29- Gaining community acceptance for affordable housing has long been a sticking point in developing successful communities. NHC's Solutions for Housing Communications 2016 Convening will connect affordable housing developers, advocates, funders and government officials for panels, workshops and round-table discussions on challenges and opportunities in community acceptance. Together we will learn and engage, discovering best practices for countering community opposition and exploring creative new approaches to meeting this perennial challenge. MORE

May 3 - Free training on Fair Housing Act Accessibility Requirements, Disability Rights Laws and Making Housing Accessible through Accommodations and Modifications. Training from 8 AM - 4:15 PM at the State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Additional information and registration HERE

June 11 - In conjunction with NeighborWorks America's annual NeighborWorks Week, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) will be hosting a half-day training for neighborhood leaders. Neighbors Together: Creating Neighborhood Opportunity will be held at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Details and registration HERE


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  






Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. | 229 Peachtree Street NE Suite 705 | Atlanta | GA | 30303