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Commissioners approve more money for North Athens project

Athens-Clarke County will kick in an additional $4 million in American Rescue Plan funding to the North Athens Downtown Redevelopment Project to offset exploding construction costs due to inflation.

The project is a key part of the county’s package of measures designed to address a growing affordable housing problem, but in recent months has been beset with funding gaps caused by inflation.

"This is not this project," said Rick Parker, CEO of the Athens Housing Authority, the agency overseeing the north Athens project. "This is all over America that this is happening. This is happening with multiple projects in the state of Georgia and I'm in conversation with folks across the USA. This is a problem that our country literally is going to have to deal with."

Parker told commissioners that, ultimately, the impact of inflation on low-income housing projects around the country will require a national solution, and noted that Congress did take action during the financial crisis of the late 2000s.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.