Healthy Livable Communities

Invest in Housing Options

Invest in Housing Options2016-10-12T12:49:18+00:00


Invest in Greater Access to a Variety of Safe, Quality Housing Including Options for Aging in Place

ARC works closely with local governments to assist them with planning and with implementing their plans in a way that benefits not only local residents, but the entire region. This is done through grants like the LCI program, public/private partnerships like the Transformation Alliance and the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance, and free programs like Community Choices.



The Atlanta region is experiencing a major demographic shift as baby boomers age and lifespans increase. By 2030, one in five residents will be over the age of 60, compared to one in ten in 2010.

The vast majority of older adults want to remain in their homes and in their communities as they age. But too often, people move to more institutional settings  in order to get the services and support they need – particularly when driving ability is diminished.

ARC provides comprehensive services to older adults in the Atlanta region via its role as the federally designated Atlanta Area Agency on Aging. Services that help people remain in their communities include home-delivered meals, transportation to medical appointments and shopping, and in-home support services.

There’s a financial benefit to aging in place, too. It is typically more cost-effective for older adults to remain in their homes than move to a long-term care facility.

  • Senior center operations and group meals
  • AgeWise Connection information and referral service
  • Home-delivered meals
  • In-home support services
  • Transportation
  • Case management
  • Caregiver support
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Medicaid waivers
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Education and outreach
  • Disease management services
Meals on Wheels

The Atlanta  Area Agency on Aging provides services that help people age in place, such as Meals on Wheels

PLAN IN ACTION: Lifelong Communities

better sidewalks

Better sidewalks provide exercise, access to services and opportunities to socialize

ARC’s Lifelong Communities initiative helps guide efforts at the local level to create communities that meet the needs of residents of all ages and abilities. A Lifelong Community is a place that offers a variety of housing types and ways to get around that appeal to individuals both young and old, such as safe sidewalks, compact, low-maintenance housing options, and convenient access to shopping and transit.

ARC’s Aging & Health Resources Division works with local government planners, developers and neighborhood leaders to update policies, such as housing codes and other regulations, to remove barriers might hinder the ability of individuals to be able to age in place. ARC also demonstrates and brings best practices to the local level, such as removing zoning that prohibits the placement of accessory dwellings, or “granny pods,” in residential areas.

Staff continues to research and quantify the unique needs of rapidly aging communities and educate the marketplace about the demand for various housing options, along with needed services, within established communities.

  • Connectivity
  • Pedestrian access and transit
  • Neighborhood retail and services
  • Social interaction
  • Diversity of dwelling types
  • Healthy living
  • Consideration for existing residents

By the Numbers

20 percent

…of metro Atlanta residents will be over the age of 60 in 2030, compared to 10% in 2010.

90 percent

… of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible


The average cost of providing care to older adults in a personal home in the Atlanta region, compared to $67,677 in a skilled nursing home and $47,208 in an assisted living facility.



The number of people living in poverty in metro Atlanta’s suburbs is growing at one of the fastest rates in the nation. This is having a profound impact on how local governments provide a range of services in the region, from education to affordable housing. Many suburban areas aren’t prepared to meet the needs of this growing population.

ARC, along with elected officials, nonprofit organizations and community leaders, have come together to address issues of poverty and equity across the Atlanta region.  The goal of this collaborative effort is to influence policy decisions in a way that increases access to affordable housing, transportation and, ultimately, economic opportunities.

Rise in Suburban Poverty

In the wake of the Great Recession, the number of low-income people living in the Atlanta region has dramatically increased, particularly in the suburbs. The map below shows the change in food stamp use in metro Atlanta between 2007 and 2014.

By the Numbers

30 percent

… of metro Atlanta households earn less than $35,000 a year

… of people living in poverty in the Atlanta region live outside the City of Atlanta

7.2 percent

The change in the poverty rate in metro Atlanta from 2000-2013, the largest change among the 25 largest metro areas



TransFormation Alliance: Promoting equitable transit-oriented development

The Atlanta region is embracing the idea of transit-oriented developments (TOD), which typically include a pedestrian-friendly mix of housing, office and retail or other amenities build around transit stops, such as a MARTA rail station.

An effort is underway to ensure that TOD projects are developed in an equitable fashion that address the needs of the entire community. The goal is to foster mixed-income communities that offer affordable housing options and access to jobs and other amenities, such as fresh, healthy food, for residents of all income levels.

To promote equitable TOD in the Atlanta region, a group of government agencies, businesses and nonprofit groups, including MARTA, ARC and Enterprise Community Partners, came together to create the TransFormation Alliance, with funding provided by the Ford Foundation. Equitable transit-oriented development seeks to achieve:

  • Increases in property values without displacing the residents who would most benefit from the increase
  • Greater economic opportunity by creating easier access for low and moderate income households
  • A balance between return on investment for private investors and equity goals

Livable Centers Initiative: Increasing housing options

ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) funds planning studies and transportation projects that help transform communities across the region into vibrant, walkable places where homes, shops and jobs are better connected via sidewalks and bike paths, with improved access to job centers and transit. LCI has helped communities plan for additional housing options near major employment centers, such as Buckhead, Midtown Atlanta and Perimeter Center, as well as smaller cities such as Marietta, Norcross and McDonough.

According to a 2015 survey of LCI communities:

  • 67 have revised zoning ordinances to allow for mixed-use development
  • More than 46 million square feet of office space has been developed in LCI areas
  • More than 17,000 hotel rooms have been built in LCI areas
  • 242 mixed-use developments have broken ground

Community Choices program: Technical assistance for local governments

ARC’s Community Choices program provides free technical assistance to local governments, especially those with limited personnel. Since its inception in 2005, ARC has completed 58 Community Choices projects for jurisdictions large and small.

The Community Choices program helped Lithonia conduct an inventory of all residential properties in the city. To accomplish this, ARC developed a web-based tool and trained volunteers to help gather information. Now, Lithonia has a full electronic database and interactive map of its existing housing conditions and a report that outlines the next steps and possible tools the city might use to enhances its housing options.

The inventory was the first step in Lithonia’s participation in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program, which also provided support for the inventory.

 It is the policy of ARC to:

  • Support local jurisdictions through resources and technical assistance
  • Encourage local communities to increase housing options near large
    employment centers
  • Support the preservation of existing, and the construction of new, mixed-income housing near transit and employment centers
  • Encourage local communities to diversify housing options within existing