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AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

How Atlanta Beltline affordable housing funds created a $340,000 condo

The Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing along Atlanta's Beltline were supposed to be a bulwark against housing prices that experts predicted would rise along the ribbon of parks, trails and transit. The price to taxpayers: About $5 million.

Just five years after the motorcycle warehouse was converted to condos, there are signs this affordable housing is already vanishing, even though the nearby portion of the trail has yet to be built. A single two-bedroom condo there sold recently for $340,000—a price that is out of reach for a vast majority of metro Atlanta residents.

Seniors on fixed incomes are struggling to pay skyrocketing taxes. Working families said they have moved away. And now even well-paid professionals are worried luxury Beltline development will drive them off.

This is the story of how the agency mandated to create affordable housing along one of the nation's most ambitious urban redevelopment projects has failed to heed a decade of warnings that this would happen. Read it on How the Atlanta Beltline broke its promise on affordable housing.

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