New development will give quality, affordable housing to public servants

ATLANTA — It’s hard to find affordable housing in the city of Atlanta, and nearly impossible when you’re on a public servant’s salary. Now there’s hope.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes went out to a new neighborhood called Southtown, and it’s going to change dozens of lives. She spoke to some future homeowners who say the neighborhood is a dream come true.

Jada Johnson was born and raised in the city of Atlanta and has worked in the public housing field for 20 years.

After the housing market crashed in 2008, she said it’s been impossible for her to buy an affordable home in the city with student loan debt, credit challenges and children who have growing needs.

“I qualify on paper, but when I go to try to get something here within the city limits, I’m priced out the market,” Johnson said.

Maja Sly is a broker on a mission to bridge the wealth gap for people like Johnson.

She created partnerships with area companies, government agencies and lenders to help public servants become homeowners.

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“It will change my life tremendously,” Johnson said.

Some of the biggest challenges have been fair pricing on homes and down payment assistance. Now that she helped created Southtown Homes, things are turning around.

“So a veteran can get up to $60,000. Teachers, firefighters, our heroes, anyone who works in the school system, works at a hospital, they get an additional $25,000 through Atlanta Housing Authority, ANDP, so you can make up to $70,000 to $80,000 and still apply for some form of assistance. So it’s not low income, this is affordable market rate housing,” Sly said.

There are 59 homes scheduled to go up in the new southeast Atlanta subdivision starting next week, and more are on the way, also in the city of Atlanta.

“Seven minutes from the airport, five minutes from downtown. This is going to be amazing for people in this community,” Sly said.

If you want to get in on this affordable housing, you still have time. You can hop on the waiting list for a home.

Fernandes also learned that if you’re deferring your student loans, it will not exclude you in this case as long as you have the right information.

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