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Expanding Housing Choice

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 | 9:30 am - 11:15 am  

Miss the August 4 Housing Forum?

Watch the video on
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.


How residential zoning reform can improve equitable access to affordable housing and economic opportunity.

Wednesday, August 4, 9:30 a.m. - Virtual Event 


Single-family residential zoning first began in 1916 as an effort to keep minorities out of white neighborhoods. The US Supreme Court’s 1917 ruling declared explicit race-based zoning statutes unconstitutional. But the same court ruled less than a decade later that zoning to prevent apartment buildings from being built in single-family neighborhoods was a legitimate prohibition. Over time, widely used single-family zoning restricted the development of accessory dwelling units, duplexes, townhomes, and apartments, thereby inhibiting housing supply; and it has been an instrument of both widening income inequality and racial segregation for more than a century.

A recent report from the University of California Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute finds that 81% of large metropolitan areas are more segregated now than they were 30 years ago. In many of these cities, townhomes, duplexes, and apartments are effectively banned. In Sandy Springs, 85% of land zoned for residential is zoned single-family only (for comparison: 75% for Los Angeles, 79% in Chicago, and 84% in Charlotte).

Given the growing disparities in access to affordable housing, wealth, and economic opportunity, metro Atlanta is facing a crisis. Ranked as one of the ten largest metro regions of the United States, we rank 316th in population density. The region’s population is expected to grow dramatically in the next couple of decades. How will we meet the growing demand for affordable housing – and the need for a more equitable city and region? 

As the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum continues to examine issues of racial equity and systemic racism in the housing sector, our next Forum will explore single-family zoning and address several key questions: What changes to zoning are being proposed? How will zoning changes result in more affordable housing? What will be the fiscal and environmental impacts of such changes? Do proposed changes to zoning provide a market-based solution to our housing shortage? How effective are zoning policy changes in places like Portland, Minneapolis, Berkley, and Charlotte?

Lastly, we will talk with developers and others in the YIMBY movement about how best to move the dialogue forward to produce more affordable housing by the private sector, right historic injustices, and preserve the beloved community. 

Join us Wednesday, August 4 at 9:30 a.m. for our virtual Atlanta Regional Housing Forum as we discuss these important issues. Additional details and registration here.

























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SCHEDULE CHANGE: In 2021, the Housing Forum is moving from four quarterly to six bi-monthly events. Mark your calendars for these remaining dates.

August 4 - Expanding Housing Choice

October 6 - City of Atlanta Mayoral Candidate Forum

December 1 - TBD


Until further notice, all Forums will take place virtually, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.  We will continue to broadcast the forum live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. 

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