As we retooled ANDP to focus all of our attention and resources on foreclosure response, we directed our policy efforts to address the impact of the crisis on property taxes.
To understand and quantify the risk for overpayment of property taxes in Atlanta's highest-foreclosure neighborhoods, ANDP hired Robert Charles Lesser and Company (RCLCO), a national real estate advisory firm, to compare home sale prices and tax-appraised values in the five-county core of metro Atlanta (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties).
ANDP met with metro chief appraisers collectively and individually and provided them with RCLCO's analysis in advance of the public release of the data.
Knowing that local governments would be concerned about the fiscal impact of declining property tax revenue, ANDP also worked to educate elected officials about the tax inequities in high-foreclosure communities.
ANDP made presentations at neighborhood association and community meetings in the areas at greatest risk for overpayment.
ANDP is preparing to repeat the RCLCO analysis with sales data from 2009 to review how well tax assessors did in reducing property values, specifically within the 15-ZIP-code study area.
Recognizing that the uneven growth of Atlanta profoundly affects the quality of life for all of the region's residents, ANDP established MICI in 1998 to focus attention on and promote dialogue about the connections between affordable housing and quality-of-life issues.
By 2005, the MICI committee had taken ownership of the work and ANDP became mainly a facilitator of the MICI process.
The document became a focal point for affordable housing advocacy, not only for ANDP but for many other organizations as well.
For example, ANDP has been working with homebuilders for years to help foster an understanding of the critical need for more affordable housing in the region.
The most recent version of MICI's "Making the Case" document, available from ANDP in April 2007, addresses the connection between housing and healthy environments as an economic development, business case.
In addition to its $500,000 contribution, ANDP
will help develop community services for residents of the properties, focusing primarily on the three buildings within the city of Atlanta.