Closing the Homeownership Gap in Atlanta
By Candace Higginbotham and Veleka Finch
The housing market has been hot in many areas of the country since before the pandemic began, and the frenzy has only increased the last two years. Homes are in short supply across the country, and prices – well – they’re through the roof.
Some markets in the Regions footprint have been especially impacted. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the median price of a metro Atlanta home sold in December 2021 was $355,000, up 22% from a year earlier. And the number of homes listed for sale, already at historic lows, fell to 22% below 2020 levels.
A robust market is great news for some, but not for others. The Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, or ANDP, has been around for more than 30 years, but the current housing shortage has made its mission more critical than ever.
One of the most impactful ways the Regions Foundation can serve our community is by providing resources that increase access and opportunities for people to thrive.
Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation
ANDP develops, finances and advocates for affordable housing that promotes racial equity and healthy communities where families thrive. ANDP services include providing lending and access to capital, as well as down payment assistance for low- or moderate-income families – with special emphasis on veterans.
A recent $250,000 grant from the Regions Foundation will help fund ANDP’s “Closing the Gap: 2,000 by 2025” program. The Regions Foundation is a nonprofit initiative supported primarily by Regions Bank.
As its name suggests, the ANDP’s Closing the Gap plan aims to develop 2,000 single-family homes in the next three years, including 250 single-family rental homes, 500 single-family homes targeted for homeownership, and 1,250 affordable apartments throughout metro Atlanta. The development will prioritize neighborhoods most at risk of displacement of low-income residents.
“Access to safe, quality, affordable housing is a top concern for families across Atlanta and beyond, and one of the most impactful ways the Regions Foundation can serve our community is by providing resources that increase access and opportunities for people to thrive,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation. “We are pleased to provide support for ANDP’s unprecedented plan to help meet more of metro Atlanta’s affordable homeownership needs.”
Today’s housing market conditions are exacerbating an already wide homeownership gap, which also contributes to the larger issues of the racial wealth gap.
Tiffany Kirk, community development manager for Regions Bank
Tiffany Kirk, community development manager for Regions Bank, is currently serving as Chair of ANDP’s Board of Directors and is pleased the Regions Foundation is supporting ANDP and this important effort.
“Today’s housing market conditions are exacerbating an already wide homeownership gap, which also contributes to the larger issues of the racial wealth gap,” Kirk said. “Atlanta is a very important market for Regions, and I’m happy that the Regions Foundation and ANDP are working together to help create opportunities for homeownership and improving lives in our community.”
Kirk noted the positive impact homeownership has on communities, including educational achievement, civic participation, economic opportunity and promoting generational wealth.
John O’Callaghan, ANDP President and CEO, reiterated Kirk’s remarks, saying, “Increasing access to affordable housing and closing the homeownership gap between Black and white households was challenging enough before the pandemic.”
“With added supply chain pressures, labor shortages, and soaring land costs, our collective efforts are needed now more than ever,” O’Callaghan continued. “Regions Foundation was an early investor in the single-family component of our five-year plan to address these concerns.”
About The Regions Foundation
The Regions Foundation is a nonprofit corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank. The Foundation’s 2020 year-end endowment balance was approximately $125 million, and these funds enable the Foundation to positively impact the communities served by the Bank. The Foundation engages in grantmaking and non-traditional philanthropy to advance economic and community development, education and workforce readiness, and financial wellness. In 2020, Regions Foundation disbursed over $6.6 million to community organizations. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $163 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.