Currently, the city of Sandy Springs is studying three promising projects aimed at improving and revitalizing the North End:
- A non-motorized path that will extend from Morgan Falls Park to Roswell Rd and the Chattahoochee River
- Construction of a Community Center with a competition ready sized swimming pool
- The revitalization of 4 currently under-utilized shopping centers, including then North River Shopping Center (Stars and Strikes), Loehmann’s Shopping Center (Sandy Springs Diner), North Ridge Kroger Shopping Center, and the Old Big Lots Shopping Center
Let us reiterate — these are wonderful, promising projects for the North End.
But solutions to address the ever-growing affordable housing crisis are nowhere to be found.
The city can spend millions and millions of dollars revitalizing, revamping and re-modeling the North End but if we don’t address our housing affordability problems, people aren’t going to have enough money to spend at any of these places.
And this isn’t just a problem for some people in Sandy Springs. It’s important to remember that the city’s plans will impact all of us, one way or another. If the city does nothing to prevent the “natural gentrification” that WILL undoubtedly occur, here a few things that we know will happen:
- Families will be displaced from their homes
- The cost of rent, which has already risen nearly 35%, will price workers and their families out of our city
- Even condominium and townhouse owners aren’t safe — some are being confronted with their HOA’s having been taken over by developers and threatened with increased HOA fees
This is happening all across the country, being repeated in city after city. Cities prioritize development and revitalization, and then families are priced out of their homes. The workforce and schools are negatively impacted, thus resulting in employers having a much harder time filling needed positions.
And the result of all that? A housing affordability crisis — with no end in sight.
We must demand that our city learn from the mistakes of others and prioritize affordable housing with clear, actionable policies before it’s too late.
There’s still time. But it’s running out.