Famed rapper T.I. and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens recently joined forces to unveil 140 affordable housing units at the Intrada Building on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. This initiative marks a significant step toward addressing the city’s ongoing affordable housing crisis.
T.I., who hails from Atlanta’s West Side, shared a personal connection to the neighborhood during the Nov. 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony, where he revealed a surprising anecdote from his past.
He humorously confessed, “I’m going to tell y’all a secret. Don’t tell anybody. I got caught stealing from this Kmart,” alluding to a store that once stood in the neighborhood. “I thought that you know, just to offset the shame that came with that, it would behoove me to invest in the community by acquiring these properties.”
Tip says he was inspired by fellow Atlanta rapper-turned-activist Killer Mike. “He says, ‘If everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot,'” T.I. said, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
The Intrada Westside project represents a collaboration that has been in process since 2017 between T.I.’s “Briarhouse Holdings,” the city of Atlanta, and the Vecino group. The project not only aims to provide affordable housing but also includes commercial and retail spaces designed to contribute to the economic growth of the neighborhood. Additionally, gardens have been incorporated into the development. Intrada Westside is a 100 percent affordable housing community, with Atlanta Housing’s support for 25 permanent supportive housing units. Among the 140 residential units, 25 are designated for permanent supportive housing under Atlanta Housing’s HomeFlex-HAVEN program, Vibe reported.
“Intrada Westside is a remarkable multi-family development that stands out for its dedication to affordable housing and for providing housing for persons who were homeless. Atlanta Housing is proud to play a part in making this property fully affordable and sustainable,” said Atlanta Housing Chief Operating Officer Terri Lee.
This venture aligns with the broader efforts of the city of Atlanta to address the critical issue of affordable housing. Over the past two years, the city has created 3,200 affordable homes, with an additional 5,000 under construction. Mayor Dickens has set a goal of establishing 20,000 affordable housing units, recognizing that affordable, safe, and quality housing is a shared responsibility that goes beyond government actions.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens (left) T.I. (far right) with T.I.’s wife, singer Tiny Harris, with one of their sons at the Intrada Building ribbon cutting, Nov. 14, Atlanta (Photo: Fox 5 Atlanta screenshot,https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/t-i-atlanta-mayor-cut-ribbon-on-new-affordable-housing-complex)