Initiative launched to provide affordable homes in South DeKalb
Pictured L-R: Commissioner Larry Johnson, ANDP President and CEO John O’Callaghan, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson and Commissioner Gregory Adams. Photo by Glenn L. Morgan

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Pictured L-R: Commissioner Larry Johnson, ANDP President and CEO John O’Callaghan, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson and Commissioner Gregory Adams. Photo by Glenn L. Morgan
Pictured L-R: Commissioner Larry Johnson, ANDP President and CEO John O’Callaghan, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson and Commissioner Gregory Adams. Photo by Glenn L. Morgan


By Valerie J. Morgan

Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) has announced a three-year initiative to provide affordable homeownership and new capitol to improve areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis in DeKalb County.

ANDP President and CEO John O’Callaghan said the private, nonprofit organization is investing $20 million in the “Home South DeKalb” initiative, which will target ZIP codes such as 30038 and 30035, which have among the highest percentage of negative equities.     

O’Callaghan said the initiative includes dozens of partners—from  banking and lending institutions to developers and builders to community and governmental entities—all working together to provide housing, health and educational resources to homeowners.

The initiative will expand ANDP’s footprint in DeKalb, where the organization has purchased, rehabbed and sold more than 200 single-family homes since ANDP was created in 1991 to promote, create and preserve affordable housing throughout metro Atlanta. The new effort will result in 100 newly redeveloped single-family homes, O’Callaghan said.

“We are excited to launch this holistic housing initiative to South DeKalb,” said O’Callaghan said. “We’re going to be focused on homeownership. It’s not exclusively homeownership, but we believe that’s key.  We’re going to be acquiring, rehabbing, perhaps some new construction, single-family homes that are going to be for sale largely to low to moderate income homeowners.” 

O’Callaghan said the initiative also would a include a lease-purchase component, down payment assistance programs through Wells Fargo and other lenders, as well as the Home Depot Foundation, which provides down payment assistance for veterans.   

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, who joined O’Callaghan at the July 18 news conference for the announcement, applauded ANDP’s investment in DeKalb.

“The Home South DeKalb initiative complements the county’s renewed commitment to eradicating blight, improving affordable housing opportunities and enhancing quality of life for all DeKalb County residents,” said Thurmond. “When we create homeownership opportunity, particularly for people of color, it’s not just the roof but it is also the wealth—the generational wealth—that you create.”    

County officials say the initiative is one that is sorely needed in South DeKalb. More than 10 years after the start of the foreclosure crisis, South DeKalb homeowners are struggling with the aftermath of underwater home values.  South DeKalb lost more than 18,000 homeowners during the foreclosure crisis, and nearly one in three of its homeowners now owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.   

DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader, presiding officer of the Board of Commissioners, praised the supportive partnerships built into the program. Rader, along with Commissioners Larry Johnson, Gregory Adams and Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson, attended the news conference for the ANDP announcement.

“We saw the dangers of unsupported homeownership in  DeKalb when we saw a great rise in foreclosures and people’s credit ruined, their lives destabilized and the loss of a major investment.  That is going to be something that this effort will help to substantially counter act and not only will it do it for those who participate directly in the program, it’s going to raise the bar in DeKalb County where we will be able to build that sort of sustained homeownership and intergenerational wealth.  

DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson said he hopes that ANDP’s initiatives will also fuel the economy. 

“We’re doing so much to move us forward.  We’re going to make this work. We’re going to make you proud. We just need more investments. We want to have more jobs to go along with homeownership,” said Johnson.

Adams said he sees ANDP’s effort as a way to continue building bridges in DeKalb. 

“It’s so key that we come together to build bridges. As we work with the banks and our constituents, we are strengthening our neighborhoods,” Adams said. 

Mayor Jackson also applauded the Home South DeKalb initiative and CEO Thurmond.

“We are really excited about this opportunity. We applaud the leadership of our county CEO and commissioner. While the impact of the housing crisis has faded from the headlines, the results of the crisis continues to affect many families particularly in South DeKalb,” said Jackson. “The issue of negative equity where the value of the property is less than the mortgage that is owed is still a serious problem in many of our communities.    

Initiative launched to provide affordable homes in South DeKalb


On Common Ground News


  • PB3

    July 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Thanks South Dekalb. I’m a resident and career mortgage professional. How can I get involved?


  • S

    July 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Seems encouraging. Im hoping that their promises are kept.


  • Sara P Irwin

    July 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I hope the homeowners owing on devalued properties receive some real help so that their properties appreciate. I hope they can be encouraged to hold on to their homes or resell them at their true value price and that developers trying to get them to sell will be discouraged from doing this.


  • Stephanie D. Parker

    July 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    This is the government sponsored “house flipping” program giving funds to the same entities that help bring on a lot of the foreclosures in the first place. Why can’t I purchase a home as an individual and renovate it myself? I’m appalled.


    • Felicia White

      July 23, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Wise up to the Trillion Dollar Game.


  • Latasha R Wilborn

    July 22, 2018 at 7:15 am

    What kind of help is there available and how can i qualify for it? I wantto become a home buyer. I am disabled on a fixed income and i pay my rent on time


  • R Lee

    July 23, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Are any of your initiatives directed toward Condominiums/Townhomes? As an older citizen of DeKalb 30038, this setting is ideal for “baby-boomers” who are looking to purchase. Thanks


  • Felicia White

    July 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    The Trillion Dollar Game. Get wise and be up on this Brown people.


  • Felicia White

    July 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I am moving out of DeKalb the first chance I get. When you mess with families housing and jobs. Where was this help when 100’s of 1000’s were losing their homes? Now these very same entities want “help”. F.O.H…


    • S

      July 25, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Great points.

      Why now? people been wanting this same thing for years..especially when the economy went belly up at the time.

      The more I think about this,the more suspicious I get about this plan.Im trying to be optimistic about it but I don’t know.I have one eye opened and one eye closed.


  • Warsameh h Bured

    July 24, 2018 at 3:44 am

    This project of affordable housing is needed disrict 4 area ,the cost of living is too high going up day after day and,the pay of the workers is not increased, maybe a father of large family may make 1300 a month ,the rent of three bedrooms maybe More than a thousand(and going up )+ water+ electric/gas ,this crisis of renting apartments or condominiums is national crisis that need a national strategy planning by Dekalb County Government


  • Warsameh h Bured

    July 24, 2018 at 4:07 am

    The best place you can make big project of affordable housing in district four is brannon hill condominium that the county started the demolition of the vacant and cleaning the burned units, this project will be a very helpful by dekalb county residents to improve their live and hope so I am strongly advising that the Dekalb County CEO Thurman and district 4 commissioner steve to make this project of affordable housing in brannon hill,thank you


  • Princella White

    July 24, 2018 at 11:54 am

    My family moved from Atlanta to DeKalb when I was 14 years old; I have lived in DeKalb County for 48 years. Please let me know when meetings start, I would like to be involved and know what is happening.


  • barbara rogers

    July 25, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    i am looking for a new place to live. who and where do i need to contact for more information. the articles doesn’t list any offices or addresses. please let me know where i can go to get started.


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