Addressing the housing issue requires a holistic, integrated approach, including involvement from architects, developers, financiers, and local officials. The City of Atlanta recognizes that and is taking action with a new position that will help the city create long term strategy for more affordable housing.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms recently announced the appointment of Terri Lee as the city’s first Chief Housing Officer during a gathering of more than 100 cross-sector non-profit, corporate, community and affordable housing leaders, according to a press release.

Lee was most recently the Deputy Commissioner of the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning where she established the city’s $75 million Housing Opportunity Bond initiative and implemented strategies to encourage neighborhood stabilization, transformation and growth. She has served as a board member of the Freddie Mac National Affordable Housing Council, Trees Atlanta, Urban Land Institute Advisory Board, Rebuilding Together Atlanta and as a founding board member of the Atlanta Collaborative Land Trust.

The primary responsibilities of the new Chief Housing Officer include establishing policies and goals for the city’s affordable housing strategy; coordinating with public-private agencies to identify key investment opportunities; communicating with the community in order to fully understand housing needs; and ensuring bold thinking, collaboration and accountability across city agencies as the challenge of affordable housing is addressed.

The HouseATL Task Force was formed earlier this year in support of Mayor Bottoms’ $1 billion affordable housing initiative and includes such organizations as the Urban Land Institute Atlanta, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Central Atlanta Progress, the Center for Civic Innovation, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

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