Home South DeKalb to pump $20M into neighborhoods

In the next three years, 100 foreclosed homes in south DeKalb County will be renovated and sold to low- and moderate-income buyers because of a $20 million Home South DeKalb initiative unveiled July 17.

John O’Callaghan, president and CEO of Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership Inc., said the program will pump the funds into South DeKalb neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis and the lingering effects of negative equity. 

“This is about lifting families and neighborhood,” he said.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate dilapidated, vacant, abandoned single-family houses and sell them to eligible low- and moderate-income families. The targeted homes will be in ZIP Codes – 30021, 30032, 30034, 30035, 30038, 30039,  30058, 30072, 30079, 30083, 30087, 30088, 30288, 30294 and 30316 – where the percent of homeowner negative equity ranges from 11 to 32.4 percent. 

This is ANDP's second venture in South DeKalb. In 2016, its Homebuyer Assistance Program offered $30,000 down payment assistance to help more than 30 low- and moderate-income families to buy homes in DeKalb, Clayton, Douglas and Fulton counties and the city of Atlanta.

Qualified "Home South DeKalb" buyers will receive up to $25,000 in down payment assistance and closing costs from sources managed by ANDP and will get homebuyer training.

Callaghan said the initiative will increase homeownership rates, restore family wealth, increase neighborhood stability and improve resident health and wellness outcomes.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said he understands how powerful the ANDP investment will be.

“As African Americans, over 90 percent of our net worth is invested in home ownership,” he said.

Thurmond said ANDP picked South DeKalb for the program because of the 600 tons of debris removed from the county and the $1.2 billion SPLOST that will be used to repave our streets, among other improvements.

“Now we won’t have new homes on pothole-filled streets,” Thurmond said.

District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson called the unveiling of the program “a great day,” and “a proud moment” for the county and South DeKalb.

Commissioner Jeff Rader, the BOC’s presiding officer, said he is happy to see the support services that surround the program.

“This substantial and sustained effort will make a huge difference,” said Rader, who represents District 2.

Lithonia mayor Deborah Jackson, who serves on ANDP’s board, said residents are entitled to a high quality of life whatever their ZIP Code. She said she had been telling ANDP for a while that it needed to come to DeKalb County, and that it is her hope that Home South DeKalb will become a model for other communities.

Mary Gude, a 30-year DeKalb resident, said she had to attend the unveiling when she heard about it.

“I think it is great what they are doing,” said Gude, who lives in the Greenforest neighborhood off McAfee Road and is a member of the Columbia Alliance Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative. “I am looking forward to this being a positive force in the county.”

For more information, visit www.andpi.org/dekalb.

n Homes for sale are available at www.andphomes.org/search.

n Eligible homebuyer can apply at www.andphomes.org/start.

n Homebuyers must access funding from lenders at www.andphomes.org/financing.

n Mandatory homebuyer education course is available at www.andphomes.org/homebuyer.