Home Builders Identify Challenges Within the City of Atlanta

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ATLANTA — The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) held its first Inner Atlanta Chapter luncheon of the year on Tuesday, February 4, at the Southface Energy Institute to discuss the pressing issues that face home builders within the City of Atlanta. The panel featured government officials from the Atlanta City Council and Staff; Keyetta Holmes, Interim Director of Zoning, Carla Smith, Council Member District 1, and Corrine Lindo, Research and Policy Analyst.

Part of the discussion focused on the challenges that home builders are facing when working with Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs). The City of Atlanta is divided into twenty-five (25) NPUs, which are citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use, and other planning-related matters. The panel reassured the builders that there are plenty of development opportunities inside the City of Atlanta but warned builders that they must take the extra time to work closely with the NPUs on their projects.

“It is crucial to have these healthy discussions with our elected officials,” said Inner Atlanta Chapter President and Owner of Fortas Homes, Jim Cheeks. “We must work together to build a better Atlanta and fill the “missing middle” that is seen throughout our country.”

In addition to the panelists, three Atlanta City Council Members were in attendance. They included Matt Westmoreland, the Post 2 At-Large Member, Natalyn Archibong of District 5, and Howard Shook of District 7. There were 84 GAHBA members in attendance and 19 builder companies represented. The luncheon also featured a presentation on “Building Code Changes” from Bettie Sleeth of the Home Builders Association of Georgia. There are eight new Georgia construction codes that went into effect on January 1, 2020 and will provide notice marked improvements in additional safety, cleanliness and comfort. State construction codes are coordinated through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association will be hosting classes that cover the residential code changes.