News Briefs: Public land for affordable housing; APD bonuses; DeKalb buys 20k boxes of Girl Scout Cookies

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced the Atlanta’s first-ever comprehensive effort to activate public land for affordable housing. As of this month, the city has completed an inventory of public property and presented the first four properties slated for activation for affordable housing development to City Council’s Community Development and Human Services Committee on April 27. Three of the properties are single lots that will be developed as single-family plus accessory dwelling unit housing. The other property is a 0.9-acre site across from City Hall that will be developed as dense, mixed-use infill housing in conjunction with Invest Atlanta. In addition, Mayor Bottoms signed an administrative order creating an interagency advisory council to identify more public land for development as affordable housing. Find more information on the Mayor’s One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan.

The Atlanta City Council recently adopted legislation to award a retention bonus to eligible members of the Atlanta Police Department. Pending approval of the Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget, officers attaining three years of post-academy service will receive $2,500. Officers beyond those three years who are members of the “hybrid” pension plan adopted in 2011 will receive $1,200. “I want to thank the Administration and Council for making this possible,” said Councilmember Howard Shook, who sponsored the legislation. “We know there have been a lot of resignations over the last year, and morale among those who thankfully still report for roll call could use a boost. Hopefully, this sends a meaningful message.”

The DeKalb County Government will buy approximately 20,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from area troops for its upcoming May 1 food distribution and for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  “This is not simply about buying Girl Scout cookies,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. “This is about investing in the future of young girls in DeKalb County. Without the cookie program, many girls from low income households could not afford to be participate in Girl Scout. Every box sold gives a girl a greater opportunity to lead and succeed.” Due to the pandemic, approximately 720,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies sit unsold in metro-Atlanta warehouses. The sale of these cookies makes up nearly 20 percent of the funding for DeKalb County troops.