Increased access to affordable housing is becoming a reality for more Atlanta families. On Tuesday, Atlanta rapper T.I., alongside Mayor Andre Dickens and various organizations, unveiled 140 units at the Intrada Building on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.
Mayor Dickens, acknowledging T.I.’s deep connection to the neighborhoods, stated, “When you listen to Tip’s album… he shouts out all the neighborhoods right around here.” T.I., with a touch of humor, shared a personal anecdote, saying, “I’m going to tell y’all a secret. Don’t tell nobody. I got caught stealing from this Kmart,” referring to a store in the neighborhood. He explained that investing in the community through property acquisition was a way to offset the past and contribute positively.
T.I., known for “The Rubber Band Man,” is part of a collaborative effort involving the city of Atlanta, his “Briarhouse Holdings,” and the Vecino group to bring about this housing initiative. He credits fellow West Side-native Killer Mike for inspiring him, quoting Mike’s philosophy: “If everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot.”
Since 2017, multiple organizations have joined forces to create a safe haven for financially struggling families. With the average rent in Atlanta surpassing $1,800, and the average hourly wage at $34.21, the need for affordable housing is evident.
“Safe, quality, affordable housing is linked to what we value,” Mayor Dickens emphasized. “It’s not something a government can fix on its own.” The overarching vision is not just to construct buildings but to build a community by “buying back the block.”
Over the past two years, the mayor stated that the city has already developed 3,200 affordable homes, with an additional 5,000 under construction. Looking ahead, the mayor aims to set aside a total of 20,000 affordable housing units, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in addressing the critical issue of affordable housing in Atlanta.