ATLANTA — Firefighters, police and corrections officers will soon get help for rent and housing to keep them in Atlanta where the housing market continues to price people out.
On Monday, Atlanta City Council members adopted legislation to donate half a million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to the Atlanta Police Foundation. The non-profit will distribute those funds to support the community safety housing program designed for public safety officials.
While the legislation was unanimously approved, there was some pushback during the public comment portion of the meeting with some community members saying the housing market is impacting everyone in Atlanta -- not just public safety officials.
"I please urge you to shift your priority to people who are houseless," one person said during the open forum.
As a part of the legislation, the city will provide a housing subsidy to officers and firefighters to help them afford apartments within proximity to the precincts and facilities where they work. The decision comes after Atlanta Police and Atlanta Fire have struggled to attract and retain enough workers.
The most recent data from the police department from last month shows the agency is still down 450 officers out of its authorized 2,000, showing 78% of total positions filled.
Backers of the resolution say they hope it will make police, fire, and corrections jobs more attractive to applicants at a time when housing costs have become a deterrence for many.