Atlanta Mayor Reed cuts ribbon on redevelopment, home-ownership - CBS46 News

Atlanta Mayor Reed cuts ribbon on redevelopment, home-ownership initiative

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

A once-blighted section of the city of Atlanta is getting a new look, and in the process, its residents are getting a shot at owning a home in their community.

Mayor Kasim Reed helped cut the ribbon Thursday on a development called Mechanicsville Cityside, an initiative made possible through a public-private partnership. 

The development  includes 66 new homes on those sites and rehabilitate eight other properties in an 18-block area. , helping to create home ownership opportunities for low-income families.

All 74 properties will start out as rentals, but in 15 years, tenants will have the opportunity to buy the homes at a deep discount under rules of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. 

“Oh this is beautiful," said Shay Walker, a Mechanicsville resident who took a peek at a 3-bedroom home for the first time Thursday morning.

She's on the waiting list to become one of the first renters.

“It’ll be much better for me and my kids. It’ll be such a blessing if we was to get one,” Walker said.

“What makes all the craziness worth it is meeting people like her,” said Ray Kuniansky, chief development officer of Columbia Residential, the developer of the project. “I mean, look at this. There are 28 houses on this block sitting on land that has been vacant for over 10 years. That makes a statement. That changes people’s perception of the area.” 

To qualify for the program, perspective renters must pass a background check. They must also pass a credit check and have an income of at least twice the monthly rent. A 3-bedroom home will rent for about $700/month, Kuniansky said.

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