ENTERPRISE SOUTHEAST NEWS
Eliminating Housing Instability in the Southeast
OCTOBER 18, 2018 ISSUE
Affordable Housing is in short supply in North Fulton and Homestretch has a plan to increase their real estate development capacity to help meet the need. Read our interview with Homestretch and learn how your support helped expand their property redevelopment and affordable housing pipeline.
Interview with Homestretch Leadership
Joan O’Connell, Operations Officer
Bob Hagan, Board President
- What made you interested in having HomeStretch participate in the Atlanta Affordable Housing Accelerator Program? How did you hope the program would help you build on your strengths and address your challenges?
- HomeStretch was excited about the Affordable Housing Capacity Accelerator Program because we were in the midst of developing their next three-year strategic plan, which prioritizes property redevelopment and expansion. The timing of the Affordable Housing Capacity Accelerator program was in great alignment with our goals for real estate growth.
- In 2015, HomeStretch purchased an eight unit building for their graduates, and now has 16 units of affordable housing available; but, we see a much greater need in North Fulton, as affordable inventory is very limited. The average 2BR rents for $1100 a month, which requires someone earning minimum wage to work at least 92 hours a week to afford it. HomeStretch recognized this need, and the opportunity, and sought assistance from the Accelerator program to expand our real estate development capacity.
- What are some of the positive outcomes that have come from working with your consultant and the program
- Working with Cindy Holler enabled HomeStretch to first understand our existing portfolio and its needs, as well as our options for real estate development and expansion. Cindy provided HomeStretch staff and board members with clear analysis of their opportunities for our existing portfolio, and the potential for new development with the goal of producing 50 affordable housing units.
- What next steps are you pursuing because of your participation in the Atlanta Affordable Housing Accelerator Program?
- HomeStretch applied for and received a Section 4 Capacity Building Grant to support the next phases of work, including predevelopment activities. We are putting the assessments and analysis from the first phase of the Capacity Accelerator into action to prepare an informed development plan.
- What else should people know about Homestretch?
- Formed by local nonprofits and churches who saw that the gap in supply of affordable housing in North Fulton was leading to homelessness, HomeStretch recognizes that this need continues to exist today. HomeStretch has been serving the North Fulton Community for 25 years, in partnership with local nonprofits, churches, and a significant community volunteer base of 1800 annual volunteers! HomeStretch, with our community partners, is excited to move into this next phase to grow our real estate development capacity