The moves are the first made possible through funding Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens secured to expedite the relocation of families from the complex.
“Today is an important milestone, as these families begin their new journeys,” said Mayor Andre Dickens. “Every resident deserves the dignity of safe and quality housing, but that has long been lacking for the families living at Forest Cove. I’m grateful that these four families have an opportunity for a fresh start, and we will not rest until all of these families have that same opportunity.”
On May 16, Mayor Dickens signed legislation setting aside the first $1.5 million of a planned $9.1 million City investment to support the relocation of Forest Cove residents. The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta is facilitating the relocation in partnership with the City and The Millennia Companies.
“These moves are a long time coming for residents of Forest Cove,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “We are grateful to the City of Atlanta and to our stakeholder partner organizations for working together to ensure the smooth, successful relocation of these families.”
The relocation process calls for each household to visit three housing options, select a unit, complete the necessary documents, and review the relocation assistance package before scheduling a move date. These relocation steps, and others pursuant to the Uniform Relocation Act, are facilitated by APD Urban Planning & Management, LLC and Open Doors in partnership with the City of Atlanta, the Community Foundation, and The Millennia Companies®.
“Millennia is appreciative of the City of Atlanta’s commitment to improve the quality of life of Forest Cove residents. Mayor Dickens’ leadership, coupled with the engagement of HUD and a broad coalition of partners, has propelled the relocation effort to this point,” said Frank T. Sinito, CEO of Millennia. “We look forward to completing the relocation process and collaborating with the City, HUD, DCA and local stakeholders to preserve affordable housing and redevelop Forest Cove while contributing to the revitalization of Thomasville Heights.”
To date, Open Doors has identified and secured more than 135 suitable units; the relocation team has shared housing options with approximately 70 households, prioritizing families with children so that they can move prior to the start of the school year.
Mayor Dickens is renewing his call for property owners and managers to join the effort to close the gap. Property owners with vacant units are urged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“With a housing market this tight, we know we need to pound the pavement to find the housing units that these families need,” Mayor Dickens added. “Taking care of our neighbors at Forest Cove is a chance for Atlantans to show what it means to be a truly inclusive community.”
As a component of the relocation work currently underway, the Community Foundation will provide funding to organizations that can provide supportive services to Forest Cove residents including, but not limited to, case management, childcare, education, financial literacy, integrated healthcare, transportation, and wraparound services. The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation is providing broad-based case management support.
While relocated, the families’ rents will continue to be subsidized from a federal housing program administered through a pass-through lease made possible by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.