A Dream Deferred? Utilizing the Limited-Equity Housing Cooperative Model as a Solution to Atlanta's Affordable Housing Issue
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As most of the nation continues to recover from the financial repercussions of the Great Recession, the struggle for housing affordability remains. Home ownership is more difficult to obtain, while rental rates are on an up rise (Hudson, 2016). The traditional “American Dream”—distant and distorted—is more like a nightmare for those whose economic growth is disproportionate to the increasing costs of housing. Even more, new urbanist trends encouraging people to come back to the city, coupled with the sprawling of neighborhoods, create unequitable cities that are divided by race and income. In the Atlanta metropolitan area, the racial wealth gap is delineated geographically between northern and southern communities. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the Cooperative Housing Model and its application as a solution to housing disparities in Atlanta, GA. A review of the literature highlights the Limited-Equity Cooperative Housing (LEHC) model as a viable alternative to affordable housing. An analysis of domestic cooperative housing case studies provide background for the model’s challenges and opportunities. Both inform the final recommendation to utilize the Limited-Equity Housing Cooperative Model as a solution to Atlanta’s affordable housing issue.