Feb 4, 2022 - News

Housing lawsuit creeps closer to compromise

Mayor Andre Dickens, a tall man wearing a gray suit, stands at a lectern with the Atlanta city seal and in front of a bas relief wall sculpture of people's faces

The deal ends years of feuding between Atlanta Housing and Integral. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

A long legal slog between the Atlanta Housing Authority and Integral, one of the city's most prolific developers of affordable and mixed-income housing, appears to be coming to an end.

Mayor Andre Dickens announced a resolution to the dispute as the two sides were preparing to go to trial.

Why it matters: The roughly five-year legal stalemate has stalled development of affordable housing, one of Atlanta's most pressing issues and a key focus for the new mayor.

  • The back-and-forth put a question mark on the future of more than 75 acres of land.

Catch up quick: Integral has long been one of Atlanta Housing's key development partners in its program to demolish and replace public housing with mixed-income communities.

  • In 2017, during Mayor Kasim Reed's administration, the authority kicked off the protracted bitter battle by suing Integral and its partners to block a deal the company made six years earlier with then Atlanta Housing CEO Renee Glover.

Under the terms of the deal, the Integral team could pay below market value for land at the former Carver, Capitol, Grady and Harris homes located in fast-gentrifying neighborhoods and near transit.

Driving the news: This week, Dickens brought the two sides together to find a compromise.

  • A few hours after the mayor's announcement, the AH board approved a resolution supporting the deal, the AJC reports. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development must still sign off on the terms.

Details of the settlement, such as how the city and parties will split ownership, were not disclosed, and not every detail has been ironed out.

What they're saying: "Nobody, except maybe the lawyers, ever wants to get bogged down in litigation," Dickens told reporters Thursday at a City Hall news conference. "As for the city of Atlanta, we need to consummate deals that help move us forward in the development of affordable housing."


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