Piece by Piece Update

June 2016





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Soaring Rents a Threat to Metro Atlanta

(Courtesy of Atlanta Business Chronicle) Atlanta has always been known as an affordable place to live.  But, Atlanta's reputation as an economical city and desirable headquarters for businesses could be in danger. Atlanta now ranks No. 3 in the country for income inequality, apartments rents are increasing rapidly and affordable housing options are drying up.In Georgia, a person who makes the minimum wage of $7.25 would have to work 76 hours per week in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent (estimated at $715 per month). Subscriber Content - MORE  

Related:  Read the National Low Income Housing Coalition Report "Out of Reach" on the rental housing crisis:

Ron Terwilliger Highlights Policy Actions to Respond to National Housing Crisis 

(Courtesy of Saporta Report): Saporta Report guest columnist Ron Terwilliger notes that America is in the midst of a housing crisis that deeply affects millions of families.Here in Georgia, approximately 675,000 families - half of all renter households in the state - are considered "housing cost burdened." In the Atlanta metro region, more than one in four renters spends in excess of 50 percent of their income on rents.  Terwilliger outlined policy solutions that surfaced from a recent housing roundtable hosted by the Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families and ANDP.    Recommendations included:  federal government must dramatically ramp up its support for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; rental assistance programs, particularly the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, should be funded at levels reflective of the great need that exists; local housing providers must have greater flexibility in fashioning solutions that are responsive to community; and finally communities across the country must make expanding affordable housing opportunities a top priority.  MORE
Pressing Challenges in Housing Finance
(Courtesy of HUD): Nearly a decade after the onset of the housing and financial crises, several indicators show that the housing market is recovering. Housing starts and prices are up and delinquencies and foreclosures are down. Despite these positive signs, important housing finance challenges persist, including tightened access to mortgage credit (especially for traditionally underserved populations) and an increasing number of older homeowners carrying mortgage debt.  These are high-stakes challenges that affect opposite ends of the age spectrum: younger prospective homeowners and older homeowners in or nearing retirement. MORE

Neighborhoods Need More Tools to Prevent Blight and Dumping

(Courtesy of Creative Loafing):  Creative Loafing recently published an editorial by Elizabeth Whitmire, president of the Ashview Heights Neighborhood Association, advocating that Atlanta neighborhoods need more tools to combat blight. She recommends that the City give code enforcement workers the resources they need to adequately tackle such a substantial issue. In addition, Whitmire notes that programs such as Memphis' "Mow to Own" program are worth studying. She also suggests that the City should consider amending the current ordinances dealing with abandoned properties.  Whitmire writes, "Tackling blight will take time, resources, and focus. But it can be done."  MORE
HUD Announces new VASH Awards to Help End Veteran Homelessness

(Courtesy of NHC): To help end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are awarding nearly $38 million to help more than 5,200 homeless veterans find a permanent place to call home. The rental assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.  In metro Atlanta, the City of Atlanta Housing Authority; the City of Marietta Housing Authority; the East Point Housing Authority; the DeKalb County Housing Authority; and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs were awarded funding. MORE

San Francisco Voters Approve Stronger Inclusionary Housing Policy
(Courtesy of Housing Matters): A newly approved ballot measure in San Francisco aims to address the city's housing affordability crisis. Proposition C will increase the city's affordability requirement from its current 12 percent to 25 percent and allow the Board of Supervisors to modify the percentage in the future. MORE

DPA Programs Save Qualifying Homebuyers More Than $17,000 on Average Over Life of Loan
A recent report released by Down Payment Resource and RealtyTrac found that across all 513 counties analyzed, buyers using available down payment assistance programs can save an average of $17,766 representing 41 percent of a year's wages compared to buyers who do not use down payment assistance.  MORE


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

June 21;  2 PM to 3 PM:  National Housing Conference (NHC) hosts free webinar on Opportunity Mapping.  Using geographic data is becoming more important as federal programs increasingly focus on increasing access to opportunity. This complimentary webinar provides an introduction to opportunity mapping and outlines its importance in developing more equitable policies. Registration

June 21 - June 25; Fifth Third Financial Empowerment eBus comes to metro Atlanta markets to provide a host of free financial wellness services which includes financial needs assessments, credit reports, job search assistance, homeownership opportunities and small business development solutions, to the community.  ClearPoint Credit Counseling will be on board to help participants with their free credit reports and credit counseling.   Stops are listed below:
  • Cascade West End Kroger (Fifth Third Bank Mart), located at 590 Cascade Avenue SW, South Atlanta, June 21 from 2-6 p.m.  This stop is open to the public and Kroger will provide hot dogs and soft drinks to attendees. 
  • Singleton Square Kroger (Fifth Third Bank Mart), located at 6050 Singleton Road, Norcross, June 22 from 2-6 p.m.  This stop is open to the public and Kroger will provide hot dogs and soft drinks to attendees. 
  • Peachtree Hill Kroger (Fifth Third Bank Mart), located at 3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Duluth, June 23 from 2-6 p.m. This stop is open to the public and Kroger will provide hot dogs and soft drinks to attendees.   
  • Fifth Third Bank Smyrna-Cobb Parkway Financial Center, located at 2197 Cobb Parkway SE, Smyrna, June 24 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  This stop is open to the public.     
  • Urban League of Greater Atlanta Homebuyer Education Fair, located at Atlanta Metropolitan College (1630 Metropolitan Parkway SW, South Atlanta) June 25 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Fifth Third Bank will provide attendees with valuable information and resources about home mortgages and refinancing options.
June 25; 11 AM - 2 PM.  Committed to Communities and The Beltline Team, will be hosting a 203K Rehab/Renovation Info Session and Home Tour.  The event is aimed at educating homebuyers on the renovation process, how to prepare financially for a renovation, and understanding how the 203K Loan process is different from a traditional mortgage.  Registration

June 28; 6:30 PM.  203K Home Buyers Club.  Have a home buyer that wants to do a renovation but doesn't know where to begin? Or who wants some support throughout the process?  Direct them to the 203K Home Buyers Club to learn about the renovation process in a relaxed setting. This is expected to be more of a casual but guided conversation with other buyers and a community member who has gone through the process to share their experience. More

October 17; Georgia ACT Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference.

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

  • June 22; 34th Annual Career Expo from 8 AM - 3 PM at the Latin American Association, 2750 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta.
  • June 22; VFW/Clayton CC VET Job Fair from 10 AM - 2 PM at the VFW, 732 Veterans Parkway, Jonesboro.
  • June 23; 10th Annual Greater Augusta Employer Committee Career Expo from 1 - 4 PM at the Augusta University Christenberry Fieldhouse, Augusta.
  • July 14, 2016; 2016 Career Fest/Job Fair from 10 AM - 2 PM at the Norcross First United Methodist Church, 2500 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross.


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator